A dental bridge is a fixed (non-removable) appliance and is a way to replace missing teeth. A bridge can be used to:
- Fill the space of missing teeth.
- Maintain facial shape.
- Prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position.
- Restore chewing and speaking ability.
- Restore your smile.
- Upgrade from a removable partial denture to a definitive dental appliance.
There are several types of bridges, and Dr. Jay Lopez will inform you about the best options for your oral health circumstances, so you can make the choice that is appropriate for you.
Traditional Fixed Bridges
A traditional fixed bridge consists of one or more artificial teeth suspended between crowns that go over abutment teeth to hold the prosthetic teeth in place. With this type of restoration, the teeth to be crowned will be prepared and a digital scan taken. Dr. Lopez will work with a preferred dental lab to make a custom bridge to fit your mouth and provide you with strong function and natural appearance. With today’s dental materials, beautiful aesthetics can be achieved.
Though this option may be best for you, know that there are risks associated with this option. We will discuss in detail all the pros and cons of potential options specific to you and your needs prior to definitive treatment.
Implant Fixed Crown or Multi-Unit Bridge
Implant retained crowns and multi-unit bridges are very popular today because they have multiple advantages:
- An implant supported crown or multi-unit bridge does not require the removal of enamel from abutment teeth to receive crowns.
- The implant stimulates bone growth to prevent bone resorption and subsequent changes to your jaw structure. This means your facial structure will not appear prematurely aged, and the gum tissue will continue to fit well around the bridge long into the future.
- An implant retained bridge provides for the strongest chewing function.
- An implant retained bridge is more durable than a traditional bridge and therefore predicted to last longer. Traditional dental bridges last an average of 5 -10 years, as noted in the literature. An abutment tooth (anchor tooth) is more at risk for decay. An abutment tooth is at higher risk for a root canal, due to the increased stresses of supporting the load of more than one tooth. An abutment tooth is at higher risk of fracturing at the gumline.
- Oftentimes, once an implant is placed, it can serve as the anchor for a future more extensive bridge if one or more adjacent teeth become no longer viable.
If you would like to restore your smile, regain full dental function, have an optimally healthy mouth, and minimize the dentistry you will need to maintain your smile and dental function over your lifetime, a dental bridge is just one of many treatments that may be recommended by Dr. Lopez. If you have missing teeth or may soon lose one or more teeth, Dr. Lopez is an excellent choice in Tucson, AZ to discuss your best options.