If you are missing a tooth or multiple teeth, a dental bridge is one possible solution. This restoration consists of two dental crowns, either placed on natural teeth or supported by dental implants, with one or more artificial teeth suspended between them. This option can restore your smile both visually and functionally.
Dental Bridge vs Dental Implant
To replace one tooth, your two main options are a bridge or a dental implant topped with a crown. A bridge uses the natural teeth on either side of the gap to support a false tooth in the middle. A surgeon will then place a dental implant in your jaw where the original tooth used to be. Your dentist will then top the implant with a crown. If you have a larger gap you need to fill, you can also use two dental implants as support for a dental bridge.
Which Type of Restoration is Right for You?
Both bridges and implants can be beneficial, so which is best for you depends on your unique situation. In general, a dental implant is a good choice for a long-term solution. This is because it continues to stimulate your jaw, which prevents bone loss. Bridges have the benefit of typically taking less time to place and may be a better fit if you already have teeth needing crowns on both sides of a gap or if existing bone loss makes dental implant surgery more difficult. In order to get a dental bridge, the teeth on either side of the gap must be strong enough to support the bridge and have long enough roots.
The Process of Getting a Dental Bridge
If you are getting a dental bridge using natural teeth as supports, we will typically complete the process in two appointments. Note that if you are getting dental implants as well, the surgery will be completed separately and your implants will need to fully heal before we can proceed with the final bridge placement.
During your first appointment, we will prepare your teeth for the bridge and will take impressions that will be sent to a dental lab. We will also match the shade of your bridge to your natural teeth and will make sure you are happy with the color choice before moving forward. To protect your natural teeth while you wait for the permanent restoration, we can fit you with a temporary bridge.
Once your bridge is ready, you will come in for a second appointment where we will actually place the final restoration. We will make sure that everything fits perfectly and that you love your new smile. We will also go over care instructions to help ensure that your bridge lasts for as long as possible.
Restorative Dentistry at Smith Dentalworks
Missing teeth can have a huge impact on your confidence and can make it harder to eat and speak. A dental bridge is one way to restore your smile and improve your oral health.