Even a single missing tooth can substantially impact your health and confidence. At Lakeview Dental, we offer several types of high-quality dental bridges to repair gaps in our patients’ smiles. Your restoration will also be carefully designed to be nearly indistinguishable from your natural teeth. Dr. Brian Hirschfield and Dr. Devan Berry are available to discuss your options for dental bridges during a consultation at our Lakeville, NY, practice.
What Is a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge is a custom restoration that replaces one to several missing teeth in a row. At Lakeside Dental we offer both traditional and implant-supported bridges to our patients. A traditional bridge is made of one or more false teeth, which are secured on either side by dental crowns.
Implant-supported bridges are self-sustaining and secured by dental implants. Depending on the needs of each patient, we use zirconia or porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) materials for the fabrication of our bridges.
Candidacy and Other Considerations
Many patients who are missing teeth are candidates for traditional dental bridges. Because these bridges use the adjacent teeth as anchors, the patient must have teeth that are structurally sound and free from decay. Periodontal treatment may first be recommended if there are signs of gum disease.
Implant-supported bridges have greater stability and security than traditional bridges, but not all patients are candidates for implants.
Patients who are considering implant-supported dental bridges must be good candidates for the surgery required to place the posts. For example, sufficient bone density is needed where the tooth or teeth are missing. Patients with inadequate bone density may be able to undergo a bone graft or a sinus lift to strengthen the treatment area. Good implant candidates are also nonsmokers, have good oral health, and are in good overall health.
A Closer Look at the Procedure
The first step in obtaining a traditional bridge is for your doctor to prepare the adjacent teeth to accommodate dental crowns. Then an impression will be taken of your teeth, which will be sent along with your doctor’s specifications to a trusted dental lab for fabrication of the bridge. You will be fitted with a temporary bridge to wear while your permanent restoration is being created.
After a week or two, the lab will send the completed permanent bridge to our office. You will return for a second visit so that Dr. Hirschfield or Dr. Berry can affix your permanent bridge with dental cement.
Patients who choose an implant-supported bridge must first have the implants surgically placed in the jaw. After the area heals for four to six months, abutment pieces can be placed on the implants, which are used to secure the dental bridge.
Benefits of Dental Bridges
In addition to improving a patient’s appearance by replacing missing teeth, the restoration can also maintain a more youthful facial structure. With dental bridges, patients typically find that they can speak more clearly and enjoy all their favorite foods again. Many patients also experience an increase in their self-esteem.
Implant-supported bridges have an added benefit of stimulating the patient’s jawbone, which prevents the degeneration that can occur after tooth loss. Implant-supported bridges have greater stability and security than traditional bridges, but not all patients are candidates for implants. Implant-supported restorations also require a greater investment and longer treatment time.
Contact Our Office Today
If you are missing one to several teeth, a dental bridge can dramatically improve your quality of life. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Hirschfield or Dr. Berry to discuss which treatment option is best for you.