There are many types of replacement teeth, which one is perfect for you? Like all dental restorations, a dental bridge is tailored to your unique needs and preferences. The highly lifelike dental prosthesis is made to replace a lost tooth in a way that restores your smile’s appearance and your bite’s function without being obvious. Therefore, the replacement tooth (or pontic) and the crowns that support it must be custom-designed to closely mimic your healthy, natural teeth. However, besides their specific dimensions, dental bridges also vary in another significant way – how they’re supported – and your dentist may recommend an implant bridge instead of a traditional one.
First, how does a bridge offer replacement teeth?
Dental bridges do what the name implies. They offer replacement teeth for one or more missing teeth. A dental bridge is made of two or more crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap. Those teeth on opposite sides of the gap are referred to as anchor teeth or abutment teeth. The artificial teeth or pontics will replace the gap. Pontics can be manufactured from porcelain, gold, alloys, or an array of materials and metals. Dental bridges are supported by dental implants or natural teeth.
The procedure used to place a dental bridge in the mouth, is relatively pain-free and easy procedure. You will first be numbed and your teeth surrounding the gap will be filed. After the filing of those teeth, the crowns will be placed on them. Those crowns are now a support for the artificial tooth that will replace the gap. Finally, the artificial tooth usually made of porcelain, or another durable material, will be place in the gap. Your new teeth will look, feel, and function like natural teeth.
A Bridge the Right Answer for Tooth Loss?
Visiting your dentist after you lose a tooth can be exciting as well as intimidating. You can finally take the first step to getting replacement teeth, but you may worry whether or not you’re choosing the best option for replacing your lost tooth. In many cases, the best option is a custom-designed dental bridge, which can restore your smile’s appearance as well as your bite’s proper function. To help you decide if a dental bridge is your answer to tooth loss, we take a look at how a bridge works and when it can offer the most comprehensive solution.
How a Dental Bridge Works
A dental bridge consists of a lifelike replacement tooth, also known as a pontic, that is custom-designed to mimic your healthy, natural tooth. The pontic is supported by bordering dental crowns, which your dentist will permanently bond to the adjacent teeth next to the gap. Both the pontic and supportive crowns of a bridge are often crafted from highly realistic dental porcelain, which is customized to match your tooth’s color, texture, and luminescence for optimal results.
When a Bridge Isn’t the Best Choice
Dental bridges are called such because they’re designed to close the gap in your smile caused by a missing tooth, or by several adjacent missing teeth. If you have lost teeth that are not adjacent to each other, or if you’ve lost all of your teeth on one or both dental ridges, then a bridge may not be the best option. Instead, a partial or full denture can be designed to replace all of your missing teeth and completely rebuild your smile.
Traditional Dental Bridges
A dental bridge’s main purpose is to close that gap created in your smile when you lose a tooth (or two adjacent teeth). To accomplish this, your replacement teeth will consist of equally lifelike supportive crowns on either side of the pontic. The crowns are bonded to the teeth that are closest to the gap in your smile, which your dentist will carefully prepare in order to support the bridge. Once bonded in place, the fixed prosthesis cannot be removed unless and until your dentist has to do so. While traditional bridges help countless patients regain most of their smile’s confidence and function, they lack the ability to restore the vital functions of your lost teeth roots.
Implant-Supported Replacement teeth
A conventional bridge also requires that you sacrifice a certain amount of the healthy teeth structure that you still retain. By contrast, your dentist might recommend supporting your replacement tooth or teeth on one or more dental implants – small posts that are inserted into your jawbone where your tooth loss occurred. With the support of an implant post, your custom pontic won’t need the addition of supportive crowns, nor the support of your healthy teeth, in order to remain in place.
Ask your dentist what your replacement teeth choices are
Modern dental bridges come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and some include supportive prosthetic posts that mimic healthy teeth roots. To learn which bridge is best for you, schedule a consultation by calling 847-234-0517. We also proudly serve residents of Chicago and all surrounding communities in the Chicago Metro area.