Missing teeth can be a struggle for many, from both an aesthetic and functional point of view.
Implant supported bridges are a great solution for people who are missing at least two teeth that are right beside each other. The bridge will look like your natural teeth and share all the same capabilities, allowing you to eat and perform other oral functions normally.
Dental implants, which are made of titanium screws, are placed via surgery and act as roots that fortify the jaw. For this reason, they are often lauded as a superior solution for missing teeth.
At Timothy H. Kindt, DDS in Mesa, AZ, we can create a patient treatment plan for you to replace missing teeth with a dental bridge.
Effects of Tooth Loss
Tooth loss, including the loss of a single tooth, has a significant impact on your mouth. If the missing tooth is toward the front of your mouth, it can affect the quality of your smile and your confidence. It can affect your ability to chew, which can impact your digestive process.
Food can get lodged in the space, increasing your risk for tooth decay and gum disease.
Tooth loss can impact your speech, often causing a lisp.
Eventually, your jawbone begins to grow weak in the area where the tooth is missing, which can cause your surrounding teeth to shift out of alignment. This can throw off your bite, which can cause other serious issues.
What is a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge is a common treatment for restoring missing teeth. This restoration can replace up to three consecutive missing teeth. There are a few different types of traditional bridges, including Maryland bridges, cantilever bridges, and fixed bridges. A fixed bridge is the most common.
What Is a Fixed Dental Bridge?
A fixed dental bridge consists of the replacement tooth, called the pontic tooth, and two dental crowns, one on each side of the pontic tooth.
The purpose of each dental crown is to anchor the bridge securely into place. These crowns sit over the remaining healthy teeth, called the abutment teeth. Bridges are made from ceramic, which provides a seamless, natural restoration of your smile.
Traditional Dental Bridge Procedure
Getting a traditional fixed dental bridge takes two separate appointments.
Your First Appointment
||At your first appointment, we prepare the teeth. This preparation involves trimming the abutment teeth or removing a portion of their enamel. This is necessary to ensure that your new bridge fits in both comfortably and naturally.
||Once the abutment teeth have been prepared, which is done under a local anesthetic, we then take impressions of your mouth. These impressions are sent to our dental lab, where they are used to both design and fabricate your custom bridge.
||It can often take up to two weeks for the bridge to be completed and sent back, so a temporary bridge is placed while you wait. The temporary restoration helps to protect your abutment teeth.
Your Second Appointment
||Once the bridge is ready, you have your second appointment. At this appointment, we check the bridge for fit, bite, and color, and then cement it into place over the abutment teeth.
What Is an Implant Supported Bridge?In addition to the traditional dental bridge option, our Mesa, AZ dental team offers implant-supported dental bridges.
An implant supported bridge looks similar to the traditional bridge. However, the teeth on either side of the implant supported bridge are not used to secure it, nor are dental crowns necessary.
Instead, the dental implants work to hold the entire structure securely in place. An implant for each missing tooth is not required. The number of implants needed to secure an implant supported bridge depends on the number of missing teeth.
During a surgical procedure, a dental implant (or two dental implants), made of titanium, are anchored into the jawbone.
Dental implants are a strong and permanent solution for restoring your healthy smile. Please visit our page on dental implants vs. bridges to learn more.
Benefits of a Bridge
Bridges offer several benefits.
||They restore your abilities to eat and speak.
||Oral health is improved.
||Your digestion is improved.
||Your healthy teeth are kept in proper alignment.
||You regain your smile, and your confidence.
What is the Difference Between a Bridge and an Implant?
The most obvious difference between traditional bridges and implant supported bridges is that the latter requires an added commitment of undergoing surgical procedures to insert dental implants. This can be a lengthy process, as it is generally performed over two appointments that are four to six months apart.
There are notable contributions to be made both financially and with time when getting dental implants.
However, the many advantages of implant supported bridges outweigh potential shortcomings.
Traditional bridges, though a popular restoration method for many years, require serious alteration of the remaining teeth surrounding the gap. Adjacent teeth must be used as abutments, so they will be filed down to prepare for crown placement. Even if these teeth are healthy, the filing will ultimately damage them permanently.
In addition to the abutment process, traditional bridges do not account for bone loss. While implants stimulate the jaw, traditional bridges can do nothing to preserve bone.
Am I a Candidate for a Dental Implant Supported Bridge?
In order to undergo the process of dental implant surgery, it is imperative that you are currently practicing proper oral hygiene.
If you have gum disease or evidence of tooth decay, the process may be delayed until those issues are treated and better habits are developed.
It is essential that you refrain from smoking directly before and after the surgery, but we also emphasize stopping altogether in order to improve general wellness and reduction in tooth-staining.
If you have suffered oral atrophy and require a sinus lift or bone regeneration treatment, those procedures must be completed before you can become a candidate for implants and supported bridges.
Contact Your Dentist in Mesa, AZ Today to Schedule a Dental Bridge Procedure!
If you are missing several adjacent teeth and believe you would benefit from a traditional bridge or an implant supported bridge, our team is here to help.
Even if you cannot see the space left behind by a missing tooth, it is still important to get that tooth replaced. Visit our website at Timothy H. Kindt, DDS today to schedule your consultation and find out if a bridge is right for you. Call us at (480) 939-5818 with any questions or concerns.