Your smile is one of the first thing people notice about you. We all want to have a show-stopping smile that turns heads, but missing teeth can cause this for undesired reasons. With the help of dental bridges, we can bridge the gap that is created by one more missing teeth. Dr. Kitchen and Dr. Ahmed can transform your teeth and leave you with a smile that people remember in a positive light.
To find out more information about dental bridges and, please feel free to contact Old Town Smiles in Alexandria, Virginia and request your consultation today.
- 1 What is a Dental Bridge?
- 2 Benefits
- 3 Types of Dental Bridges
- 4 Do I Need A Dental Bridge?
- 5 The Consultation
- 6 Before the Procedure
- 7 Procedure Process
- 8 Aftercare for a Dental Bridge
- 9 How Long Does a Dental Bridge Last?
- 10 Cost
What is a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge is a false tooth that is fused between two porcelain crowns used to fill in a gap left by a missing tooth. It is secured into place by your natural tooth, a crown, or an implant. A bridge is made up of tooth-colored porcelain, gold, or a combination of both to provide the best results.
Cosmetic bridges can be used to replace one or more missing teeth. Without a bridge, spaces that are left unfilled may cause surrounding teeth to drift out of position. This can cause your other teeth and gums to become more susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease.
There are numerous benefits of a dental bridge. During your visit with one of our skilled dentists, you will be able to get a better understanding of what a dental bridge can do for you.
- Restore your smile
- Distribute the power of your bite evenly throughout the mouth
- Better chewing
- Maintain your natural facial structure
- Prevent remaining teeth from shifting or repositioning
- Provides a more secure hold to prevent the bridge from moving compared to dentures
Types of Dental Bridges
At Old Town Smiles, we provide different dental bridge options and placement techniques to chose from to provide the best treatment for all of our patient’s particular needs. The bridge and technique that are chosen will vary from case to case depending on where the missing teeth are, bone density, and the extent of treatment that you will need to achieve your desired results.
After meeting with either Dr. Kitchen or Dr. Ahmed, she will be able to determine the best type of dental bridge and method that should be used. The types of dental bridges we offer include:
A traditional bridge is the most commonly used type of dental bridge. Traditional bridges consist of one or more pontics, otherwise known as fake teeth, which are then held in place by dental crowns. The dental crowns are cemented to the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth or teeth. This bridge can be used to correct a gap that has natural teeth on both sides.
A cantilever bridge is similar to the traditional bridge in that is uses pontics to fill the gap caused by missing teeth. The difference is that the cantilever bridge only uses a dental crown on one side of the gap rather than on both sides. This is performed when the missing teeth are in the back of the mouth and only one side of the gap has natural teeth in place.
Resin Bonded Bridge
A resin bonded bridge, otherwise known as a Maryland bridge, is a conservative alternative to the traditional bridge. For this procedure, the bridge is held in place by a porcelain or metal framework. This framework will be bonded to the backs of the two teeth that are adjacent to the gap, similar to ‘wings’. The strength of this bridge is limited to the strength of the bonding that is performed. This procedure has its benefits because, in the case of an unforeseen failure, there have been no modifications to the natural teeth.
Implant Supported Bridge
An implant-supported bridge is very beneficial if you have more than one missing tooth. Rather than using dental crowns or bonding, an implant is placed for every missing tooth. The metal rod is placed directly into the jaw where the gap is. A series of implants will help to hold the bridge in place. The pontics will then be placed over the implants and secured.
Do I Need A Dental Bridge?
Receiving a dental bridge will not only improve your appearance by providing you with a beautiful smile, but it can also benefit your health in more ways than one. Gaps in the teeth can lead to the movement of the surrounding teeth which can offset your bite entirely, potentially causing chipping, cracking, TMJ, or certain forms of gum disease. From a cosmetic standpoint, missing teeth can cause a negative impact on your confidence.
Patients can be considered a good candidate for this dental procedure if they are in good health with no underlying dental conditions that can affect results and have realistic expectations. To best determine if you are a candidate for this dental bridge procedure, please contact Old Town Smiles and schedule your consultation today!
During your first visit at Old Town Smiles, you will meet with one of our dentists, Dr. Kitchen or Dr. Ahmed, and they will perform a routine dental examination to evaluate oral hygiene, teeth placement, and other any dental care needs. An X-ray will be taken to check bone density and bite alignment. In the case that you have a weaker bone density than what is required, our dentists may recommend an alternative treatment. The location, size of the gap, and teeth structure will all help to determine if you are a good candidate for a dental bridge. Next, you and the dentist will work together to create an individualized treatment plan, tailored to your exact needs.
Before the Procedure
Bridges require two appointments. During the first appointment, the teeth are prepared for the bridge and the dentist will take impressions of the teeth that will be used as a base for the custom dental bridge. A temporary bridge is then placed while the permanent bridge is being made. The impressions that were taken during the consultation are sent to the lab, where our master ceramist constructs the custom dental bridge.
When coming back into our office for the second appointment, the permanent bridge will be fitted and cemented. Either Dr. Kitchen or Dr. Ahmed will install the customized dental bridge using the custom treatment plan that was created during the initial consultation. To begin the procedure, the abutment teeth are first prepared. To do so, the dentist will shave down the tooth to an appropriate size where a crown could fit snugly over it with ease. Next, the crowns will be placed and the pontic will be secured in its ideal position.
For bridge implants, the dentist will need to make a small incision in the gums for the insertion of the dental implant rod. Once the rod is in place, the dental bridge will be placed on top of the rod and the surrounding teeth will be attached to the pontic teeth.
A dental bridge can restore your ability to chew your food, maintain the shape of your face, retain your natural bite, and helps your speech. If your temporary bridges become loose or come out, call our practice for an immediate appointment. If it is after business hours, clean the bridge and place it back in your mouth so the teeth and bite don’t shift.
Aftercare for a Dental Bridge
After your dental bridge procedure, the local anesthetic will wear off and you will be free to return to your daily activities. Our office will provide you with prescription for antibiotics and pain medication to help alleviate any discomfort during the healing process.
The length of recovery will vary from case to case depending on the extent of treatment and your body’s ability to heal. You may experience sensitivity and tenderness to the treated area which is completely normal and will subside within a few days following the procedure.
All patients will be asked to return to our office a couple times so that the dentist can monitor recovery. The healing process is quick; however, there will be lengthier recovery times with implant bridges. To ensure lasting results, we ask our patients to maintain healthy oral hygiene by flossing and brushing two times a day.
How Long Does a Dental Bridge Last?
On average, dental bridges can last anywhere from five to 10 years; however, with proper care and maintenance you can lengthen its lifetime. Bridges that are placed in the back of the mouth tend to do more chewing work than the other teeth while also receiving less care because of its location. This issue can lead to a shorter life than bridges that are placed more towards the front of the mouth. Good oral hygiene is always important to ensure lasting results after a dental enhancement procedure.
The cost of a dental bridge can vary depending on the extent of treatment that is required and if any additional teeth treatments are being performed during the same visit. Upon evaluation, either Dr. Kitchen or Dr. Ahmed work with each patient to create a customized treatment plan tailored to their exact dental needs. Through this, our dentists will be able to provide a proper dental bridge procedure estimate. To obtain your dental bridge quote, please contact our office and schedule a visit with us today!