Dental BridgesAn Overview
A dental bridge has been the standard treatment option for the replacement of one or several consecutive missing teeth. The many advances in materials, treatment techniques and the science of implant dentistry have significantly improved the patient experience and provide results that are naturally functioning and aesthetically pleasing. Drs. Robin and Carole Thoman offer both traditional fixed dental bridges and implant supported dental bridges, depending on your specific needs and goals for the restoration of your smile.
Dental bridges are permanently attached to either existing natural teeth or dental implants. If natural teeth are being used as the “anchor teeth” for a new dental bridge, we will recommend that dental crowns are placed to strengthen the teeth and provide a more stable and lasting outcome.
Dental bridge vs Dental implant: what to consider
Dental implants can replace one missing tooth or be placed to secure a new dental bridge. Choosing the best option for your needs should take several important factors into consideration:
- Overall oral health condition: for the best result a dental implant should be placed in stable, healthy jaw bone. If there is not enough bone tissue we may recommend a bone graft to support the new implant.
- Functional needs: a dental implant will restore natural chewing ability and allow remaining natural teeth to remain in place without being compromised.
- Aesthetic needs: for the most natural looking aesthetic and maintenance free smile, dental implants are often the best solution.
Dental Bridges What to Expect
Dr. Robin or Dr. Carole Thoman will meet with you to evaluate your dental health condition and discuss your needs when addressing lost teeth. We will use diagnostics including digital x-rays to assess all aspects of your oral health and dentition and will educate you on all available treatment options for your consideration. The goal of your dentistry is to restore a smile that is stable, comfortable and healthy so that you can enjoy your best quality of life.
The process for placing a dental bridge will vary from patient to patient. If dental implants are being placed, we will work with you to provide a schedule of treatment phases so you know what to expect as we rebuild a beautiful new smile.
During the treatment process you can expect:
- Preparation of teeth: if natural teeth are being used to secure the dental bridge, we will prepare them for placing dental crowns.
- Dental impressions: these will be taken after the anchor teeth are prepared or placed.
- Temporary bridge: in most cases, we will place a temporary restoration to give back normal function and allow you to get used to your new smile.
- Final restoration: once the anchor teeth are ready or the implants have properly healed, the new bridge will be placed and adjusted so that your bite functions comfortably.
Caring for A Dental Bridge
Today’s fixed bridges can be cared for like natural teeth. Daily brushing and flossing will help maintain the health of your smile and routine dental care is the best way to ensure the long-term integrity of your new bridge. During regular visits, we will look for any signs of wear or damage and monitor the health of your natural teeth and gums which support your bridge.