If you have one missing tooth or several consecutive missing teeth, a dental bridge can close the gap and restore your natural smile. A dental bridge can be permanently secured using dental implants for a result that feels like your natural teeth. Replacing lost teeth with a bridge not only restores the aesthetics of your smile but supports the bite and your overall oral health and wellness.
Modern dental bridges can be made to look and feel as close to natural teeth as possible. When secured with dental implants, they will minimize bone loss in the jaw and prevent your remaining adjacent teeth from being degraded to accommodate a crown. These combined benefits stabilize your natural jaw line and bite after losing one or more teeth, an important part of oral health and good quality of life.
Traditional vs Implant-Supported Bridge: what to consider
When choosing between a more traditional bridge that is anchored by dental crowns placed on adjacent teeth or an implant-secured denture, there are several factors to discuss and consider:
- Integrity of jaw bone: the placement of an implant needs enough healthy jaw bone for a lasting outcome. If there is not enough bone, a bone grafting procedure may be recommended before placing an implant-supported bridge.
- Location of missing teeth: if the missing teeth are located in the back and are used when biting and chewing, an implant-supported bridge can offer greater strength and stability in the long term.
- Treatment time and cost: although using dental implants to secure a bridge can lengthen the treatment time and be more costly up-front, the lifelong benefits they offer for your oral health often outweigh these concerns.
Dr. Gayed and Dr. Shaw take a personalized approach to your tooth replacement needs. We will evaluate the condition of your smile and discuss your aesthetic and dental health goals before presenting treatment options. We will educate you on the expected results from both traditional and implant methods.
About the Dental Bridge Process
The dental bridge process can differ depending on how the new bridge is anchored. If dental implants are being placed, this process will begin with the surgical placement of the implant. We work with local oral surgeons to complete this part of the process.
This typically requires a healing period of several weeks or even several months before a dental bridge can be permanently attached. Dental impressions will be taken at the appropriate time, and a temporary may be placed to provide function and aesthetics during the healing period.
If dental crowns are being used to anchor the bridge, we will prepare the teeth and take dental impressions before placing a temporary bridge. At the same time, your final restorations are being made in a dental lab. Once all are complete, we will place the dental bridge and secure it to the prepared teeth.