Losing teeth can be a distressing experience, but having one or more missing teeth is more common than you might think. Anything from oral trauma to gum disease to diabetes can cause patients to lose molars or canines, but thanks to modern advancements in restorative dentistry, the Boger Dental team can restore your smile and help you take back your confidence. One of the most popular options is a dental bridge – but how do dental bridges restore missing teeth? Keep reading to find out!
So, What Are Dental Bridges?
Dental bridges are a time-tested solution for replacing missing teeth, essentially “bridging” the gap created by one or more missing teeth. A typical dental bridge consists of two main components: the pontics, or artificial teeth, and the abutment teeth, which are the natural teeth or implants on either side of the gap that support the bridge.
Dental bridges play a critical role in restoring the functionality and aesthetics of your smile when you have missing teeth. Here’s how:
Filling the Gap
As mentioned, the most immediate benefit of a dental bridge is its ability to fill the gap left by missing teeth. By placing a custom-made pontic in the empty space and anchoring it with crowns on the abutment teeth or dental implants, a bridge seamlessly integrates into your dental arch. This not only restores the completeness of your smile but also prevents the shifting of remaining teeth, which can lead to bite problems and other oral health issues down the road.
Support from Abutment Teeth or Implants
The success of a dental bridge largely depends on the health and stability of the abutment teeth or implants because these serve as the foundation for the bridge. In cases where natural teeth are used, we often reinforce them with crowns to provide additional strength. Dental implants offer a robust and long-lasting support system, as they are anchored directly into the jawbone, mimicking the root structure of natural teeth.
Aesthetic and Functional Benefits
A well-crafted dental bridge not only looks natural but also restores essential functions. You’ll notice improvements in chewing and speaking, which are activities that are often hindered by missing teeth. Additionally, bridges help maintain the natural shape of your face, preventing the sunken appearance that can occur with tooth loss.
Preventing Further Oral Health Issues
By filling the gap left by missing teeth, dental bridges play a significant role in maintaining overall oral health. They help distribute bite forces evenly, reducing the risk of damage to remaining natural teeth. Moreover, bridges can prevent the onset of gum disease and tooth decay, which are more likely to occur when teeth shift into empty spaces left by missing teeth.
Am I a Good Candidate for a Dental Bridge?
To find out if dental bridges are the right form of restorative dentistry for you, you’ll need to work with one of our dentists to evaluate several key factors:
Presence of Missing Teeth
At the risk of overstating the obvious, the primary qualifier for a dental bridge is the existence of one or more missing teeth. Bridges are ideal for filling these gaps, restoring both function and aesthetics. Whether you’ve lost teeth due to decay, injury, or other reasons, a bridge can be a viable solution to regain a complete smile. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the more missing teeth we attempt to bridge, the less stable the bridge actually is. In some cases, the Boger Dental team might recommend another option, like dental implants or partial dentures.
Condition of Adjacent Teeth
The health of the abutment teeth is extremely important when considering getting dental bridges. These teeth provide support for the bridge, so they need to be strong, stable, and free from severe decay or gum disease. In cases where the adjacent teeth are not healthy enough, we may recommend using dental implants as an alternative support for the bridge.
Commitment to Oral Hygiene
Maintaining good oral hygiene is essential for the longevity of a dental bridge. Regular brushing, flossing, and professional dental cleanings are necessary to keep the bridge and surrounding teeth healthy. Our team at Boger Dental emphasizes the importance of oral care and provides personalized guidance to ensure your bridge remains in excellent condition.
Overall Oral Health
Your overall oral health plays a significant role in determining your candidacy for a dental bridge, and conditions like gum disease or severe tooth decay may need to be addressed before proceeding with a bridge. Our comprehensive evaluation at Boger Dental ensures that we consider all aspects of your oral health before recommending a dental bridge so you can be sure you’re getting the thorough treatment you deserve.
Boger Dental Patients Also Ask
How long does a dental bridge last?
Dental bridges can last several years or even longer with proper care and good oral hygiene. The best way to extend the life of your bridge is by attending regular dental check-ups and cleanings.
Are dental bridges noticeable?
Dental bridges are designed to look natural and blend seamlessly with your existing teeth. We match the color, shape, and size of the pontics to your natural teeth, ensuring that your bridge enhances your smile without being conspicuous.
How do I care for my dental bridge?
Caring for a dental bridge involves regular brushing and flossing, just like your natural teeth, but it’s important to clean under the bridge as well. We also recommend regular dental check-ups and cleanings to maintain both the health of the bridge and your natural teeth.
How quickly can I get a dental bridge?
The process usually involves a couple of visits over a few weeks. The first visit is for preparation and impression-taking, and the second visit is for fitting the bridge. The exact timeline can vary based on individual circumstances, but we will do our best to get you the results you deserve as quickly as possible.
Rediscover Your Best Smile at Boger Dental
Missing teeth can be uncomfortable for a number of reasons, but with the proper tools and help from your Boger Dental team, you can restore your beautiful smile for years to come. If you’re interested in learning more about how a dental bridge can boost your confidence and oral health, call our team in Plymouth to schedule your next restorative dentistry appointment!