Crossing the Bridge to a Better Smile
For individuals who are missing one or more teeth, a dental bridge can fill in the gaps and restore normal oral function. Dr. Todd Shainholtz offers traditional and implant-supported bridges at his Eagle, CO, office. Both types of bridges can prevent shifting of nearby teeth, but only implant-supported bridges (which employ one or more titanium posts that are placed into the jawbone) can prevent jawbone recession. Dental bridges are one of several restorative options offered at Dental Arts of Eagle.
Am I a Candidate for a Dental Bridge?
As with all restorative dentistry candidates, patients must be in good oral health. For traditional bridges, candidates must have two healthy teeth on either side of the area that is missing teeth. This is because the bridge will be anchored to crowns on the neighboring teeth. Implant-supported bridges avoid the need to crown healthy teeth. Dr. Shainholtz will examine your jawbone to determine if it has adequate density to support dental implants. If there is not adequate jawbone tissue to provide support, bone grafting can restore candidacy for implant-supported bridges. Dr. Shainholtz will help you explore these options.
A gap in your smile can be frustrating and make you feel self-conscious, but you do not have to suffer.
Benefits of Dental Bridges
Benefits of traditional bridges include:
- A restored smile
- Improved chewing and speech function
- More evenly distributed bite when chewing
- Prevention of nearby teeth shifting
- Improved smile
Implant-supported bridges provide these benefits as well as the preservation of jawbone mass. The jaw will shrink and change shape in the absence of tooth roots, but dental implants are the one and only restorative option that can prevent this side-effect.
Placing Dental Bridges
The process of receiving a dental bridge differs according to whether the restoration will be supported by dental implants or adjacent teeth. Placing a traditional bridge begins with the alteration of the supporting teeth. Both teeth will be reduced in order to accommodate dental crowns. Once they have been properly altered, Dr. Shainholtz will take an impression of both teeth, the gap, and the surrounding teeth. The impressions will be sent to an offsite laboratory where technicians will create your permanent bridge, which takes about two weeks. In the meantime, your dentist can place a temporary restoration.
An implant-supported bridge will require at least one surgical procedure in which the implants are placed into the jaw. Once the implants have integrated with the jaw (usually after about three to six months), Dr. Shainholtz can take impressions of your smile in order to start crafting your permanent bridge.
Book a Consultation
A gap in your smile can be frustrating and make you feel self-conscious, but you do not have to suffer. Dental bridges can restore appearance and full function to your smile, giving you an exciting boost in confidence. If you wish to learn more about the benefits of dental bridges, Dr. Shainholtz will be glad to explain your treatment options. To book a consultation, contact our office online or call (970) 328-6347 today.