What Are Dental Bridges?
Tooth loss is a common issue among many Lancaster, PA patients and is often addressed with a dental bridge restoration. A bridge restores the health and appearance of your mouth by filling spaces left by tooth loss with artificial teeth supported by dental implants, your natural teeth, or a combination of both. Dental bridges are comprised of two or more dental crown units that are fused together and typically used to replace between 1 – 3 teeth that are missing from within the same area of the mouth. Each end of the bridge fits over teeth or implants adjacent to the open space while the center portion acts as a false tooth and replaces the tooth that has been lost. At Gibson Dental Care in Lancaster, PA, we offer custom bridges made with high-quality materials to help restore your beautiful smile and improve your quality of life after tooth loss. If you have gaps in your smile, schedule a visit with our expert dental team to learn about your tooth replacement options with dental bridges.
Is a Bridge Right for You?
Losing one or more teeth not only creates a cosmetic issue — gaps between teeth can cause your remaining teeth to move out of position. This may also lead to tension in your bite, difficulty when you chew, or even the impairment of speech. You may be a great candidate for a bridge if you have missing teeth or damaged teeth that cannot be repaired and require extraction. Dental bridges attach to surrounding teeth or a set of dental implants surgically positioned within the jaw and blend evenly within your smile for a natural appearance and function. To place a traditional bridge, the surrounding teeth must be healthy enough to hold the restoration, must have sufficient jawbone density, and must be free from gum disease. Implant-retained bridges rely on solid bone support in the underlying jawbone. Our skilled practitioners will assess your oral health at your consultation to help you select the best type of bridge (traditional, Maryland bonded, cantilever, or implant-retained) and material (all-ceramic, porcelain fused to metal, gold, or other noble metals) for your needs.
The Treatment Process
Dental bridges are often completed over two office visits with our friendly team. During the first visit, we will numb the area to ensure your comfort during the procedure. Our expert team will then remove some of the enamel from the anchor teeth on either side of the missing tooth space. This creates the space necessary for the bridge to sit evenly within the arch. If an implant-retained bridge is being placed, our practice will work closely with a specialist who will surgically position a set of dental implants in your jaw. After your supporting teeth (or implants) are prepared, we will take impressions of the area so your custom bridge can be created. A temporary bridge may be worn while your custom appliance is being fabricated. Once your dental bridge is ready, we will bring you back in for a second shorter appointment to have the bridge bonded in place or connected to your implants. Your new bridge will be adjusted so that it feels comfortable and secure.
Caring for Your New Bridge
After your bridge is in place, you should notice an improvement in the function and appearance of your teeth. You may need a follow-up appointment at Gibson Dental Care to improve the fit of your bridge if it seems loose or uncomfortable in the first few weeks after placement. A member of our well-trained clinical team will teach you how to care for your dental bridge. It is very important to brush and floss under and around your bridge since cavities can still develop on the teeth supporting your restoration. With proper care, your bridge may last for several years. During your routine dental cleaning and exam visits at Gibson Dental Care, our team will be sure to check the health and wear of your custom bridge.
Effective Tooth Replacement
A dental bridge may be an effective tooth replacement option if you have a missing tooth or require a tooth extraction. Using the highest quality materials, our team customizes dental bridge solutions that fit naturally and evenly within your smile to restore biting function and maintain cosmetic appearance. To learn about traditional and implant-retained dental bridge options, schedule your visit with Gibson Dental Care in Lancaster, PA.