A dental bridge can replace one or more consecutive missing teeth, giving you back a functional, healthy, and beautiful smile. Our dentist in Annapolis, MD, Dr. Vernon Sheen, places all types of dental bridges for restoring dental health and enabling patients to enjoy the benefits of good oral health.
A dental bridge is a fixed dental restoration that dentists use to replace teeth. It is made up of two dental crowns on each end with false teeth in the middle. These artificial teeth are called pontics.
The most common type of dental bridge recommended and placed today is a fixed bridge, anchored by adjacent teeth or dental implants. A dental bridge completes your smile after losing teeth and supports a functional bite for long-term dental health.
Dental Bridge vs. Dental Implants
When replacing one missing tooth, choosing between a dental bridge and a dental implant-supported crown can seem overwhelming. 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.
Many patients are a candidate for both treatment options and should consider the following:
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.
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.
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.
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
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.