Porcelain Dental Bridges
If you’re missing one or two teeth, you have probably experienced the embarrassment and self-consciousness that the gap in your smile can cause. Thankfully, modern technology and improved prosthetic materials now work together to help replacement teeth look more natural than ever, and ensure that you have plenty of options when it comes to choosing a treatment.
Dental bridges are one of the most popular tooth replacement options; they consist of two crowns that are fused to a “pontic,” or false tooth. The crowns and pontic are discreetly fused at the point where natural teeth brush up against each other, and the porcelain is very durable and highly stain resistant. Its gloss mimics the gloss of teeth, and the color is carefully matched to the color of your natural teeth. All of this works together to help the bridge blend naturally into your other teeth—no one will know it’s even there!
Protecting Your Long-Term Health
In addition to restoring your natural smile, dental bridges protect you from the harmful effects that missing teeth can have on your oral health. Without anything in the gap, your teeth will begin to shift into it, making it harder to clean your teeth and floss effectively. This increases your risk of tooth decay and gum disease, which can cause you to lose more teeth if left untreated. Placing a bridge in the gap, however, keeps your teeth where they belong. Dental bridges also make it easier to eat and speak; because the bridge is attached to your natural teeth using crowns, eating feels secure and natural.
The procedure to place a bridge usually takes two visits to the dentist and is rather involved. There are different kinds of bridges, but the most common is a traditional fixed bridge. For this procedure, Dr. Alhadef will apply localized anesthesia to the area to keep you from experiencing any discomfort. Once the area is completely numb, he will shave the support teeth down in order to accommodate the crowns, which will sit over them like a cap. Dr. Alhadef will then take an impression of the prepped teeth and the gap in between them which is sent to a lab. The lab uses this impression to create a bridge that will fit into your mouth perfectly. It will take about two weeks for your bridge to arrive, however, so Dr. Alhadef will put temporary crowns on the support teeth. When your bridge is complete, Dr. Alhadef will remove the temporary crowns and permanently bond your dental bridge to your support teeth.
To prevent your teeth from shifting in your mouth and the future damage that may cause, it’s important to consider your options and receive a tooth-replacement treatment as soon as possible. To discuss which treatments are or aren’t a good fit for you, schedule a consultation with Dr. Alhadef.
Am I a good candidate for a dental bridge?
Whether or not you’re a good candidate for a dental bridge depends upon your oral health. Since the bridge is anchored in place by two natural teeth, the effects of gum disease or decay in those teeth will cause the bridge to fail. As a result, your support teeth must be healthy. Additionally, if you have a history of dental issues which could threaten the future stability of your support teeth, you may want to consider a different treatment. Most people, however, are great fits for dental bridges.
Is there something that dental bridges can’t fix?
Without the roots of teeth stimulating your jawbone constantly, your body will begin to reabsorb the bone. Over time, this bone loss can cause your face to take on a slightly sunken or caved-in appearance where you are missing teeth. Unfortunately, dental bridges simply can’t provide the stimulation to prevent this. If you’re concerned about the long-term effects of bone loss, you may want to consider dental implants.
What are the other types of dental bridges?
Aside from the traditional fixed bridge, there are three other types of bridges: resin-bonded bridges, cantilever bridges, and implant-supported bridges. Resin-bonded bridges and cantilever bridges are both usually placed on front teeth. In a resin-bonded bridge, a replacement tooth is attached to metal or porcelain bands that are then bonded to the surrounding teeth; this eliminates the need for crowns, making this type of bridge less expensive than traditional fixed bridges. On the other hand, cantilever bridges are held in place with a single crown instead of two; as a result, you only need one healthy natural tooth next to the gap in order to get this type of bridge.
Implant-supported bridges don’t require natural teeth to support them: crowns are set onto the metal rods of implants, which are surgically imbedded into the jaw. Similarly to the traditional fixed bridge, a false tooth is fused to the crowns. This type of bridge is more expensive and takes a very long time, as you must wait three to six months for your jawbone to heal and grow around the implants before you can continue with the process. Implant-supported bridges do prevent bone loss from occurring where they are placed, however.
How do I care for my dental bridge?
Dental bridges will fail if the teeth supporting them fall victim to decay; as a result, a great oral hygiene routine is integral to their continued success and longevity. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss, and use mouthwash daily, and visit your dentist for regular cleanings. You should also use a special brush to carefully clean the gums underneath the false tooth.
How long will my bridge last?
Depending on how well the bridge is cared for, dental bridges can last five to 15 years.
How much do dental bridges cost?
The cost of a dental bridge is highly variable, depending upon many factors, such as the type of bridge and how much your insurance helps with the cost. The best way to get an idea of the cost is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Alhadef. During the consultation, you can discuss different treatment types and how much each would likely cost.
Our Dental Team will Take Care of Smile
Contact Dr. Alhadef today to schedule your initial dental bridge consultation in his cosmetic dentistry practice. We proudly serve the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex and surrounding areas.