Having missing teeth can create self-esteem issues for some people. It can affect your smile, the shape of your lower face, and your ability to eat certain foods. Not only can gaps in your smile affect your appearance, it also affects your oral health. When you’re missing teeth, it will lead to bone loss, gum exposure, and an unbalanced bite. A dental bridge is a type of dental restoration that dentists use to replace one or more consecutive missing teeth. It can help restore a functional, healthy, and beautiful smile. Dr. Vernon Sheen places all types of dental bridges in Annapolis, MD to restore dental health and enable patients to enjoy the benefits of good oral health.
What is a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge is a type of dental restoration that dentists use to replace one or more missing teeth. This prosthesis works by bridging the gap between adjacent natural teeth or dental implants. A typical bridge is made up of artificial teeth, called pontics, which are fused to dental crowns that will anchor to the natural teeth or dental implants on either side of the gap. They can be made from various materials like porcelain, ceramic, metal alloys, or a combination of these, depending on the patient’s needs and preferences.
Dental Bridge vs. Dental Implants
When replacing one missing tooth, you can choose between a dental bridge and a dental implant-supported crown. If you have two or more missing teeth, you can choose between two types of dental bridges. A fixed dental bridge secured to your natural teeth, or we can also secure it to dental implants.
Dr. Sheen will evaluate your oral health condition. Next, he will discuss your concerns and goals before recommending the option that will best meet your needs. While many patients are a candidate for both treatment options, you will need to consider several things before deciding which one is best for you. To qualify for dental implants, patients must meet a certain set of criteria.
Stability of your smile: both treatment options can offer a stable and secure smile, but using dental implants to either secure a bridge or as the tooth replacement will provide the most secure and lasting result. This is because the bridge is anchored to dental implants and those fixtures are surgically placed in the jaw bone. This creates the most stable base for any type of dental restoration.
Bone retention: only a dental implant will offer the benefit of reduced bone loss in the jaw because the implanted post acts like a tooth root. Here, it will provide the jaw bone with enough stimulation to prevent deterioration. Without replacing the tooth root, patients will slowly suffer from bone loss.
Time and cost: dental implants, either as an anchor or tooth replacement, will require a larger upfront commitment of time and money. However, most patients report that the long-term satisfaction outweighs the cost and effort required. A dental implant treatment should be viewed as an investment into your overall health and well-being.
The Dental Bridge Process
Dr. Sheen will meet with you to do an evaluation and develop a personalized treatment plan. He will take into consideration your needs and goals as well as your oral health to give you back the smile you desire.
Implant Supported Bridge
If the placement of dental implants is part of your dental bridge process, Dr. Sheen will coordinate the surgical phase of the implant post with a local specialist. Then he will follow up with you to place your final restoration and attach your new bridge.
It will take about three to six months to heal fully. During this time, the post will fully integrate with the surrounding jaw bone.
Once you are done healing, your dentist will place an abutment on each implant. We will take dental impressions, and a dental lab will use those to fabricate your custom bridge.
Once that is ready, you will return to our Annapolis dental office, where Dr. Sheen will permanently attach the bridge.
Traditional Dental Bridge
If you choose to have a traditional bridge placed, Dr. Sheen will need to prepare the anchor teeth (the teeth on either side of the gap). This will require a significant reduction of those teeth to accommodate the crowns.
We will take dental impressions, and a dental lab will use those to fabricate a custom bridge. When they are ready, Dr. Sheen will permanently cement the bridge into place.
Dental Bridge FAQs
To learn more about dental bridges, read through our frequently asked questions. Here you will find answers to questions we often get asked about this type of dental restoration. If you have further questions, please contact us during our regular office hours.
Does my insurance cover dental bridges?
Most dental insurance plans will cover part or all of the cost of a dental bridge procedure. This procedure is necessary to restore the function of your smile. To see if your specific insurer will cover the cost, contact them directly, or give us a call today.
How long does a dental bridge last?
Dental bridges can last a minimum of about 5 years. With an excellent oral hygiene routine, you can elongate the life of a dental bridge to about 15 years. Most people will have to replace their dental bridges at least once.
Can my dentist repair my dental bridge?
A dentist will not recommend repairing a broken or damaged bridge. In that case, they will recommend getting a new one. If there is enough damage to a dental bridge, it will compromise its structural integrity. This can cause more harm if you do not replace it.
What are alternatives to dental bridges?
The best alternative to a dental bridge is a dental implant. Teeth implants are a permanent fix to missing teeth. They do not require special maintenance and will last a lifetime with proper care.
Schedule Your Consultation for Dental Bridges in Annapolis, MD
If you have one or more missing teeth, then we can provide you with a custom dental bridge in Annapolis, MD. Book your appointment today to find out which type of dental restoration will you need for your tooth loss. You can contact us by calling (443) 482-5202 or you can fill out our online form to request an appointment.