Tooth loss is one of the most destructive issues that can affect your smile. In some cases, it’s the worst-case scenario for an aggressive dental disease, while at other times, teeth are lost to accidental damage that can’t exactly be prevented. Although tooth loss is common, it isn’t natural; with every tooth lost, your mouth’s ability to function is negatively affected. Not to mention, the gaps left in your smile can have a serious impact on your confidence. A dental 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, allowing you to bite and chew properly again.
Supporting a Conventional Dental Bridge
Accepting the fact that you’ve lost teeth and need to replace them isn’t always easy, but once you have, then Dr. Fondriest can help you decide if a dental bridge is the right choice. If you’ve lost a single tooth, or multiple teeth in a row, then a bridge can be placed to fill the gap and restore the ranks of your smile. A bridge consists of the appropriate number of replacement teeth (usually between one and three) with a dental crown on either side of the appliance. The bordering crowns are bonded to the teeth adjacent to the gap, called abutment teeth, and hold the bridge steady. To accommodate the dental crowns, Dr. Fondriest will prepare the abutment teeth by slightly reshaping them to allow the crowns to fit snugly.
Common Concerns with Bridgework
Many patients who visit our office have already had a dental bridge placed, but experience problems due to an uncomfortable fit or dislodging. Improper placement or sizing problems can lead to a host of difficulties, including an increased risk of infection for the abutment teeth if the supportive dental crowns don’t fit correctly. With years of experience in restorative and prosthetic dentistry, Dr. Fondriest can examine the site of your tooth loss, including the surrounding tissues and teeth, to determine the best method for replacing your dental bridge. Often, Dr. Fondriest may recommend supporting your new bridge on one or more dental implants, which mimic your teeth’s roots and can eliminate the need to modify healthy teeth for support.
Dental Implants and Bridges
A dental implant is a titanium root device that’s surgically placed into the jawbone. Implants are made from titanium because the metal is biocompatible; as your jawbone heals, it accepts the titanium as biologically compatible and fuses to the implant’s surface. With one or more dental implants (depending on the size of your dental bridge), Dr. Fondriest can custom-create a sturdier, more durable dental bridge that closely resembles the construct of your natural teeth. Since there’s no need to attach crowns to healthy teeth, the risk of infection or damage from an ill-fitting bridge is significantly reduced.
Addressing Other Patterns of Tooth Loss
The unique nature of a dental bridge makes it ideal for certain patterns of tooth loss, like a single lost tooth or a few lost teeth in an a row. If you’re missing teeth that aren’t adjacent to each other, or if you’ve lost all of your teeth on one or both of your dental ridges, then a bridge won’t suffice. A partial or full denture, however, can be designed to match your specific condition, and dentures can also be supported on a series of dental implants for advanced support. If you’re looking for the optimal replacement for your lost teeth, or wish to improve your current dental bridge or denture, then speak with Dr. Fondriest about the possibility of dental implants.
About Lake Forest Dental Arts:
Aside from providing expert family and cosmetic dentistry services to our community, Dr. James Fondriest also holds highly-respected academic appointments at the Pankey Institute in Key Biscayne, FL, and the Spear Institute in Scottsdale, AZ, and he is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Prosthodontics at the University of Florida Dental School. Dr. Fondriest combines his impressive array of experience with modern technology and caring, compassionate, and knowledgeable staff, and we proudly serve patients from Chicago and all surrounding communities. To schedule your consultation, call our office today at (847) 234-0517.