A dental bridge is often used to replace one or several consecutive missing teeth, permanently replacing missing teeth to restore the function and appearance of your smile. Dr. Welinsky offers personalized care for replacing missing teeth, taking the time to understand your needs for the most successful outcomes.
Replacing missing teeth is important for many reasons, including the prevention of more complex dental problems related to tooth loss that can include:
- Periodontal disease
- Shifting of remaining teeth
- Bite problems
- Speech problems
- Changes to your diet
A dental bridge can be removable or fixed, anchored on either side by an existing tooth. In many cases, Dr. Welinsky will recommend capping an existing tooth with a dental crown for added strength and longevity.
Using dental implants, a dental bridge can be a fixed, permanent solution that will provide a lifetime of magnificent smiles. Dental implants will alleviate the need for removing healthy tooth structure from neighboring teeth to support the bridge. Dr. Welinsky will evaluate the condition of your oral health and work with you to determine if an implant-supported bridge is the best solution for your needs.
During your consultation, Dr. Welinsky will discuss your personal oral health, budget, and cosmetic goals before deciding on a plan that is best suited to your needs.
The Pros and Cons of Dental Bridges
One of the best things about dental bridges is that they’re cheaper than full dental implants. They’re also a quicker option than full dental implants, even if you’re getting an implant-supported bridge. A bridge is a much better option than a denture. It’s anchored by implants or your natural teeth instead of using an adhesive to adhere to the gums. This makes them more secure and they require less maintenance than a removable denture.
However, there are cons to dental bridges as well. Dental implants are still the gold standard for tooth replacement. They help with jawbone loss and they’re the longest-lasting option. If your bridge is anchored by your natural teeth, the tooth will have to be prepared and a dental crown applied to support the bridge, even if those teeth are perfectly healthy. An implant-supported bridge will always be more than a traditional one, too. It’ll take longer for your final restoration because the implants have to heal.
Dental Bridges: What to Expect
A traditional dental bridge that is to be supported by existing teeth will require 2-3 visits for the preparation of the teeth, dental impressions, and the placement of the bridge.
If dental implants are being placed to anchor the bridge, Dr. Welinsky will work with a local oral surgeon to coordinate care for the implantation of the post. The use of dental implants has incredibly changed the landscape of restorative dentistry and tooth replacement for both doctor and patient. Dental implants provide several key benefits for dental health that will outweigh the cost over time:
Maintains bone structure: A very small titanium post implanted in the jaw functions like a tooth root, which will support continued bone growth.
No effect on your speech: A dental implant looks and functions like a natural tooth and will not alter your speech or pronunciation of your words.
Permanent solution: A dental implant is secure and permanent which will prevent slipping or moving during your daily routine.
No daily maintenance: There is no need for daily use of an adhesive with a dental implant. You can speak confidently and eat food with natural biting ability.
Dental Bridge FAQs
How do I care for a dental bridge?
The care of your dental bridge will depend on the type of bridge that’s placed. Your dentist can give you clear directions on how to take care of the one you have. Care instructions include brushing and flossing regularly, seeing your dentist every six months, and other instructions to clean hard-to-reach areas.
How long does a dental bridge last?
Dental bridges can last from around 5-15 years or longer. A fixed bridge typically lasts a bit longer than removable bridges. The length of time it lasts also depends on how well you’re keeping up with your oral health.
Does a dental bridge feel natural?
All dental restorations take some time to get used to. But yes, a dental bridge will feel natural, particularly if it’s fixed. If the teeth you’re replacing had large fillings or restorations, a dental bridge can feel better than having those teeth.