Are your missing teeth impacting your self-confidence? Do you have most of your natural teeth but are self-conscious about gaps in your smile from tooth loss? Monokian Dentistry provides skilled and advanced dentistry to help patients restore their smiles. We offer a comprehensive choice of restorative dentistry treatments to rebuild an attractive and functional smile. One of the top dental restorations includes a dental bridge. Replacing missing teeth with a dental bridge in our Marlton or Haddonfield, NJ office can restore your oral health and your smile’s aesthetics.
What is a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge is a fixed dental restoration that dentists use to replace missing teeth. The dentist will custom-design the bridge to meet the needs of the patient. It can replace a single tooth or multiple consecutive missing teeth.
The prosthesis consists of pontics and abutment crowns. Pontics are the artificial teeth that fill the gap and restore the dental arch. Abutment crowns are the part of the bridge that supports the entire restoration on either side of the gap. They can be secured to abutment teeth or dental implants located on one or both sides of the gap.
Restore Your Smile and Oral Health with a Dental Bridge
A dental bridge is a vital dental prosthesis to replace missing teeth. No matter how you lose your teeth, whether due to tooth decay, gum disease, infection, or an injury, you should replace them. A custom bridge will restore your chewing and speaking ability, prevent other teeth from shifting, and enhance your smile.
Your dentist will conduct an exam of your entire mouth to determine if a dental bridge is the best treatment for you. They will evaluate the gap left by missing teeth, assess the health and stability of adjacent teeth, and possibly use X-rays to check bone health. They’ll consider your overall dental needs, aesthetics, and function.
The 4 Types of Dental Bridges
We offer several types of dental bridges to meet the varying needs of our patients. Our expert dental team will customize a dental bridge treatment plan to replace your tooth or several missing teeth.
This is the most common type of dental bridge dentists use. It will replace a single tooth or several consecutive missing teeth. The entire prosthesis is held in place by two crown abutments that are secured to two prepared natural teeth located on both sides of the gap.
The natural teeth, more commonly known as the abutment teeth, will need to be prepared to accommodate the crowns. This involves the dentist permanently reducing the size of the tooth. Traditional bridges are suitable when strong and healthy adjacent teeth are available for support.
A cantilever bridge is like a traditional dental bridge but is anchored differently. Your dentist will secure the prosthesis to a single anchor tooth instead of two. The dentist will prepare the tooth by reducing the size of it to accommodate the crown portion of the bridge.
A cantilever bridge is typically only used to replace a single tooth. An ideal scenario is to secure a bridge to two adjacent teeth however that is not always possible. Using a cantilever bridge, it is possible to use only one tooth if it is healthy and has a strong root structure. However, they are less common than traditional bridges due to the potential for increased stress on the supporting tooth.
A Maryland dental bridge is a conservative type of dental bridge that uses two natural abutment teeth on either side of the gap as anchors. Unlike traditional bridges, it utilizes metal or porcelain wings that the dentist will bond to the back of the abutment teeth for support.
The adjacent teeth do not need to be extensively prepared with this type of dental bridge. This makes it a conservative option for replacing a missing tooth, particularly in areas of lower bite force. It’s often used for replacing front teeth.
A dental-implant-supported bridge does not rely on neighboring teeth for support. It is anchored to dental implants that a dentist or oral surgeon will insert into the jawbone. A dental implant is a metal post that will act as a missing tooth root and support the bridge. Once in the jaw, it will fuse to the bone, creating a very durable base for a custom dental bridge.
This is the most natural-looking, functional solution for two or more consecutive missing teeth. It will help maintain the shape of your face, prevent bone loss in the jaw, and distribute chewing forces evenly, reducing the strain on surrounding teeth. For patients that qualify, most dentists will recommend an implant-supported bridge over other types of bridge.
Traditional Bridge vs Implant-Supported Bridge
A traditional dental bridge consists of false teeth or pontics held in place by natural crown-capped teeth. These teeth are on either side of a tooth gap and keep the dental bridge stable. Traditional dental bridges can be a great option for patients who want to restore the appearance of their smile.
However, we need to prepare natural teeth for traditional dental bridges. Patients also need to learn the proper techniques to clean around and under their false teeth.
Implant-secured dental bridges do not affect adjacent natural teeth. Instead, we use one or more dental implants to secure false teeth in place. We place dental implants in the jaw bone to ensure that restorations are stable and also encourage healthy bone tissue. While traditional and implant-supported dental bridges can support the bite, implants offer more stable, lasting support.
Dental Bridge Treatment
Before dental bridge treatment, we examine the smile and take digital x-rays to plan dental bridge restorations and, if applicable, implant placement.
To begin traditional bridge treatment, we take an impression of the teeth to create the temporary bridge. We prepare the natural teeth on either side of the tooth gap for dental crowns. Then, we use an intraoral scanner to take digital impressions that we send to a dental lab to create the final bridge. Technicians create the permanent bridge, which we place at a subsequent appointment.
If you choose an implant-supported bridge, the process will take much longer. It involves surgery and healing time. However, we can perform all phases of the implant process in our office including the surgical implantation. For a dental bridge, we will place at least two dental implants on either sides of the gaps in the the jawbone.
It will take about 3 to 6 months for the implants to fuse with the jaw bone. Then, once the implants heal, we take impressions for the permanent dental bridge.
Restore Your Missing Teeth with Dental Bridge in Haddonfield or Marlton, NJ
Do you have gaps in your smile left from missing teeth? We can provide you with a custom dental bridge to restore your oral health and your smile. They are an effective means to address the aesthetic, functional, and oral health consequences of missing teeth. Call our Haddonfield office at 856.429.0404 or our Marlton office at 856.983.9620.