Customized Fixed Dental Bridges Beautifully Replace Missing Teeth
Whether you are missing a tooth or teeth from trauma, decay, gum disease, or extraction, replacement with a dental restoration should occur as soon as possible.
A dental bridge is a fixed prosthetic device that allows for the replacement of up to three adjacent missing teeth.
At Grand Lake Dental, Dr. Karl Jobst has the knowledge and gentle hands you are looking for when you need dental work. He and his compassionate, caring team would love the chance to show you why their patients can’t stop saying great things about them.
How does a dental bridge help when missing a tooth or teeth?
When you are missing a tooth, it affects much more than your smile and self-esteem. The gap between teeth allows the remaining teeth to shift and move, which leads to crowded or crooked teeth. It can also result in TMJ disorder, damage to other teeth, and other health concerns. For instance, it can cause problems with your bite, which can affect chewing, nutrition, and speech.
Also, crooked teeth are much harder to keep clean, which can lead to poor oral health, dental decay, and gum disease.
A dental bridge works by “bridging the gap” of one to three missing teeth, as long as the missing teeth are isolated to one section of the mouth.
With a dental bridge filling in the gap, the remaining teeth stay in place, and the bite is not affected.
A fixed dental bridge is a great option for:
- Filling in the gap from a missing tooth or teeth
- Restoring your smile
- Maintaining facial shape
- Prevention of remaining teeth from moving and shifting
- Maintaining your ability to speak and chew properly
- Upgrading from a removable partial denture
- Maintaining good oral hygiene
What is a dental bridge?
A dental bridge is a non-removable (fixed), durable restoration option that fills in the gap of a missing tooth or teeth with artificial teeth called pontics.
There are two types of fixed dental bridges, and the type best for you depends on your desires, needs, and specific situation.
The two types of bridges are:
A “traditional bridge” is the most popular replacement option. The pontics are most often made of porcelain, as porcelain most resembles natural teeth in look and feel. The porcelain pontics are fused to metal.
Dr. Jobst places dental crowns on adjacent teeth, also known as abutment teeth, to hold the bridge in place.
While a traditional bridge is an excellent option for tooth replacement, an implant-supported dental bridge is superior. It is also made of porcelain pontics fused to metal, but rather than being held in place by placing dental crowns on adjacent teeth, dental implants anchor the bridge in place.
A dental implant is a screw-like shaped post made of titanium that is surgically implanted in your jawbone. The implant replaces the tooth root, which offers many benefits over a traditional bridge. The most important advantage is that the implant mimics the vibrations of tooth roots that chewing causes. These vibrations stimulate the bone to keep it healthy and intact. Without a tooth root, bone destruction occurs, which can lead to facial changes and further tooth loss. The dental implant prevents bone destruction.
In fact, the titanium promotes bone growth, and over time, the implant fuses to the jawbone. This makes the implant a much more secure, stable anchor for the dental bridge. It also avoids the necessary shaping of remaining teeth for the placement of dental crowns. In addition, it does not place undue stress on the abutment teeth that can impair their integrity and strength.
The Process for a Dental Bridge
The process for a dental bridge begins with a consultation with Dr. Jobst. After a complete oral examination, he will go over your restoration options with you.
If you have decided on a traditional dental bridge, Dr. Jobst will use a local anesthetic to numb the area. He will then prepare the abutment teeth that will support the bridge with dental crowns by removing some of the tooth enamel.
Once Dr. Jobst properly shapes the teeth, we will take a dental impression and send it to a lab where they will fabricate your bridge. Dr. Jobst will then place a temporary bridge you can wear until your permanent bridge is ready.
Once your fabricated bridge is ready, Dr. Jobst will check and adjust it. When you are both happy with the fit and feel, he will cement it into place.
If you choose an implant-supported bridge, you will have two implants surgically placed. The implants will need three to six months to allow the posts to fuse and become a permanent part of the jaw.
Once the implants are fully fused, Dr. Jobst will place an abutment, or connector, on each implant. He will then take a dental impression to send to the lab for fabrication of your permanent bridge and then place a temporary bridge.
When Grand Lake Dental receives your permanent bridge, you will return for placement. After adjustments, and when you are both satisfied with the feel and look, Dr. Jobst will permanently affix the bridge to the abutments.
With both types of bridges, you will receive care instruction at the conclusion of your appointment.
Proper oral hygiene remains the same as with natural teeth, including brushing, flossing, and maintaining routine dental visits. This will help you maintain the integrity of your new restoration for many years to come.
Are you missing a tooth or teeth?
If you have a gap or gaps in your teeth, you want to avoid future complications by replacing your tooth or teeth with a restoration as soon as possible.
Call (918) 787-5800 today to schedule your consultation appointment to see if you are a candidate for a fixed dental bridge.