Dental Bridges Can Span the Gaps in Your Smile
A dental bridge is a type of tooth replacement that anchors a false tooth between two surrounding teeth. This method of tooth replacement eliminates aesthetic concerns associated with tooth loss and restores the function of your teeth. Often used to replace a tooth following an extraction, dental bridges are typically covered by most dental insurance plans.
Patients who have lost a tooth or undergone an extraction often come in to our office seeking restorative dentistry to return function and aesthetics to their smile.
Dental bridges placed at our Philadelphia practice can literally bridge the gap left by missing teeth. A traditional bridge is a prosthetic tooth or teeth that is supported by dental crowns. These crowns fit over your natural teeth on each side of the gap and are used to secure the bridge in place. Bridges can also be attached to dental implants, so they do not rely on your natural teeth for support. Dr. Maurry Leas and Dr. Jonathan Siegel can help determine which type of restoration will be the best fit for your needs. If you are missing teeth and would like to learn more about the available options for restoring your smile, please contact our office to make an appointment with one dentists.
Planning Your Treatment
When you come in for your initial consultation at our office, one of our dentists will perform an examination of your mouth and discuss your treatment goals. These factors will help determine the best restorative treatment for you. For patients who are missing a single tooth, they might be better candidates for an implant-supported dental crown. Patients who are missing more than three consecutive teeth are often better suited to a partial denture.
Once your candidacy has been established, we will begin to plan your individual treatment. Depending on the type of bridge that will be placed, you may have some preparatory work that needs to be completed prior to your dental bridge procedure. Your mouth will need to be free from any periodontal disease and any areas of decay will need to be addressed before placing a bridge. If you are going to have a bridge that is anchored in place by dental implants, you will need to have the titanium posts placed several months before the placement of your restoration. This will allow adequate time for healing and integration of the posts into the jawbone.
The Bridge Procedure
For a traditional bridge, the teeth adjacent to the gap will need to be prepared to accommodate the crowns.
For an implant-supported bridge, the implants will be allowed to fuse with the bone so that they can provide a strong foundation. Your dentist will take impressions of your mouth that will be used to fabricate your custom-designed bridge in a dental laboratory. You will be given a temporary prosthetic to wear while your permanent bridge is being created.
When your bridge is ready, your dentist will remove the temporary restoration and place the permanent bridge. Traditional bridges use dental cement to anchor the crowns to your natural teeth. For implant-supported bridges, the prosthetic is attached to the titanium posts with specially designed abutment pieces. No matter which type of bridge you have placed, your dentist will ensure it fits comfortably and rests snugly against the gums for a natural-looking restoration.