There are different ways of replacing missing teeth. Tooth replacement can be accomplished with implants or a permanent bridge. Tooth loss is one of the most destructive issues that can affect your smile. It can be caused by aggressive dental diseases, or simply the teeth is lost due to trauma. Unfortunately, tooth loss is common for people over 60 years of age. Every tooth you lose reduces your bite stability. Not to mention, the gaps left in your smile can have a serious impact on your confidence. Modern dental bridgework can address this issue.
A bridge is a prosthetic dental device that can replace your lost tooth or teeth and literally bridge the gap. Aside from the cosmetic benefits of restoring your smile, a dental bridge can help restore your mouth’s balance. It will maintain your bite and allow you to chew properly again.
Types of dental bridges
- Traditional dental bridges are attached with crowns to the two surrounding teeth.
- Maryland bridges are a strong version of a temporary bridge. They have supporting wings that are bonded to the backsides of the adjacent teeth. Brushing twice a day and flossing is more important than for other bridgework types.
- Cantilever bridges are supported on one side only and attached with a crown.
Supporting Dental Bridgework
Accepting the fact that you’ve lost teeth and need to replace them isn’t always easy. Once you have, then Dr. Fondriest can help you decide if a bridge is the right choice. If you’ve lost a one or more teeth, then a bridge can be placed to fill the gap.
A conventional bridge consists of teeth on both sides of a gap supporting the bridge. The supporting teeth are each called an abutment tooth. The bordering crowns are bonded to the teeth adjacent to the gap, and they hold the bridge steady. The dentist must make room for the thickness of the dental crowns that sit on the abutments. Your dentist will prepare the abutment teeth by slightly reshaping them to allow the crowns to fit snugly.
Common Concerns with Dental Bridgework
Many patients who visit our office have already had a dental bridge placed. They come because they have experienced problems due to an uncomfortable fit or dislodging. Improper placement or sizing problems can lead to a host of difficulties. This includes an increased risk of infection for the abutment teeth. With years of experience in restorative and prosthetic dentistry, Dr. Fondriest can examine the site of your tooth loss. He can determine the best method for replacing your missing tooth. Often, Dr. Fondriest may recommend supporting your new bridge on one or more dental implants. These titanium screws can mimic your teeth’s roots and can eliminate the need to modify healthy teeth for support.
Dental Implants and Fixed Bridges
A dental implant is a titanium root device that’s surgically placed into the jawbone. Implants are made from titanium because this metal is biocompatible. As your jawbone heals, it accepts the titanium as biologically compatible and fuses to the implant’s surface. Dr. Fondriest can custom create more durable bridgework supported by two or three implants. It will closely resemble your original natural teeth.
Addressing Other Patterns of Tooth Loss
The unique nature of dental bridgework makes it ideal for certain patterns of tooth loss. It is best with a single lost tooth or a few lost teeth in a row. When the missing teeth aren’t adjacent to each other, other treatment options may be selected. A partial or full denture, can be designed to match your specific condition. Dentures can also be supported on a series of dental implants for advanced support.
Benefits of Dental Bridgework
Now that we’ve explored the mechanics of bridges, let’s take a look at some of the most notable benefits. Bridges can:
- Complete your smile for optimal aesthetics
- Restore the ability to eat and speak properly
- Help maintain facial structure
- Boost your confidence with a beautiful smile – see dental bridge before and after images
- Equally distribute forces across the bite
- Prevent shifting of remaining teeth
- Dental bridges are excellent alternatives to dental implants.
In addition, those opting for implant supported dental bridgework can enjoy even more advantages. For example:
- Implant supported restorations help preserve the existing jawbone and prevent further bone degradation.
- There is no need to remove natural tooth structure, thereby preserving overall oral health.
Drawbacks of Modern Dental Bridges
A bridge can be an excellent solution to tooth loss, but it may not be right for everyone. Here are a few disadvantages to consider:
- Natural tooth structure must be removed for a traditional bridge. Typically, the supporting teeth are crowned. Any time a natural tooth is altered, it can become more susceptible to damage.
- Decay can develop underneath an ill fitting bridge. However, this can be avoided if the restoration is designed well. Dr. Fondriest uses the most advanced techniques to ensure a proper fit.
- The bridge can collapse if the supporting teeth lack strength. Before recommending a dental bridge, Dr. Fondriest will perform a comprehensive oral evaluation. During this time, he will assess the health of the adjacent teeth.
- Dental Bridgework will need to be replaced eventually. The average lifespan of a dental bridge is five to 15 years. However, Dr. Fondriest uses the most advanced materials available. Many of our patients are able to enjoy their dental bridges for 20 years or more.
There are many reasons that an extraction is necessary. Dr. Fondriest combines restorative dentistry with artistry to help our patients achieve their oral health goals. We proudly serve individuals and families from the Chicago metropolitan area as well as the Northwest and North Shore suburbs. To schedule your consultation, call our office today at (847) 234-0517.