It’s not uncommon for people to have missing teeth or know one or more teeth are failing and will soon need extracting. A dental bridge can often be an excellent choice for restoring teeth.
Except for wisdom teeth, it is important to replace missing teeth to ensure optimal health. Your teeth are designed to work together, allowing you to complete everyday functions like eating and speaking comfortably and confidently. Even a single missing tooth can negatively impact dental health, allowing your remaining teeth to shift position and affecting your bite and appearance. Anyone missing multiple teeth will find eating a comprehensive range of foods difficult. Lack of choice and inability to chew food properly can affect digestion and overall nutrition.
Benefits of choosing a dental bridge include:
A dental bridge is designed to bridge the gap left by one or more missing teeth originally adjacent to each other. Natural teeth support the bridge on either side of the gap, called abutment teeth. These teeth are adapted to be crowned, and the crowns are attached to the replacement tooth between them. The crowns are permanently bonded onto the abutment teeth, so a dental bridge is non-removable. The result is a strong, stable restoration that should look and feel good, restoring your appearance and dental health.
There are four main types of dental bridges available, which are:
Initially, you will need to see our dentist to discuss your options for replacing missing teeth and determine if a dental bridge is the best choice. If you decide to go ahead, you will need at least two appointments to complete this treatment.
Our dentist will carefully numb the abutment teeth during your first visit before reshaping them, removing part of the enamel and dentin to create enough room for dental crowns. Next, they take a detailed dental impression of your teeth that we send to the dental lab. The lab uses this information to fabricate your permanent bridge. In the meantime, we can provide a temporary bridge to protect your prepared teeth.
On your second visit, we remove your temporary bridge and carefully check the permanent bridge fits exactly, making any necessary adjustments to ensure it is perfect. You will be able to approve its appearance before we permanently bond it in place.
Various materials can be used to fabricate your bridge, depending on your preference. Options include precious metal alloys, porcelain fused to metal bridges, and ceramic bridges. When you have a porcelain bridge, we take extensive care to make sure it looks exactly like real teeth, or hopefully even better than the teeth it replaces.
If you opt for a precious metal bridge, it will consist of a silver or gold alloy polished to a high sheen. Precious metal is very hard-wearing yet kind to the opposing teeth, but it is visible in the mouth.
A porcelain fused to metal bridge is a popular choice consisting of a thin metal alloy substructure covered with lifelike porcelain. The result is an attractive and hard-wearing bridge suitable for anywhere in the mouth but is especially good when restoring back teeth just beyond your smile line.
I cannot stress how strongly I recommend this practice! Dr. Russo and his staff make the entire experience absolutely phenomenal, from the initial consultation all the way through the installation of my dental bridge. He pays close attention to all of your concerns, something that is very rare in dentists these days!
There are two types of all-ceramic bridges available, and the first is made from a material called eMax. This material can create extremely beautiful bridges that are excellent when restoring front teeth. However, the material tends to be best used for a shorter span bridge and is less suitable when restoring back teeth that come under more substantial pressure as you chew food.
Alternatively, we may suggest a zirconia bridge. Zirconia is an extremely strong material that is virtually unbreakable yet is gentle to opposing teeth and will not wear or damage them. A bridge can be made from pure zirconia pre-shaded and finished to look and feel natural. Sometimes the zirconia is covered with a special ceramic material and provides wonderful aesthetics.
Zirconia bridges are suitable for anywhere in the mouth and are strong enough to replace multiple missing teeth and even complete arches. There are various types of zirconia available, including Bruxzir, which is suitable for people who clench and grind their teeth, a problem called bruxism. Normally bruxism would break or damage porcelain bridges.
Regular hygiene appointments combined with excellent oral care at home will help prolong the life of your bridge. Looking after your bridge is not difficult, and we will show you how to clean it thoroughly. A dental bridge could last ten years or more with the right care, but eventually, it will need replacing.
The price depends on the number of teeth to be restored and your chosen materials. At least part of the costs should be covered if you have dental insurance. When you visit Dr. Adam Shoukry for your consultation, he can discuss all available options, including the costs, so that you can make an informed choice about your treatment.
We are often asked which treatment is best, and it all depends on your preference and circumstances. A dental bridge is quicker to complete and has lower upfront costs. However, a dental implant can be more cost-effective in the longer term. Additionally, we do not need to modify any natural teeth when placing a dental implant.
If you are interested in dental implants instead of a dental bridge, we can discuss this option in detail.