Dental Bridge Treatment: Restorative Options for Missing Teeth
By Dr. Everett Heringer on October 03, 2014
The team at Heringer Dentistry is committed to all patients in the greater Bismarck area. When it comes to dealing with tooth loss, we have plenty of options for those in the community to consider, including traditional dental appliances such as bridges and dentures and appliances that are held in place by dental implants, artificial tooth roots that are surgically placed into the mouth.
Dental bridges are one of the most common treatments for missing teeth, though patients tend to misunderstand how treatment works. Let's take a moment to go over the basics right now.
About Dental Bridges
A dental bridge is a removable dental appliance that fills the gap left behind when a person is missing a tooth or a few teeth. The dental bridge will latch around the patient's remaining natural teeth to be held in place.
When a patient is wearing a bridge, he or she will be able to laugh and smile and chew with absolute confidence again. In essence, a dental bridge helps restore the appearance of a smile as well as overall functionality.
Ideal Candidates for Dental Bridges
The best candidates for dental bridges are people who are missing a tooth or a few teeth yet have enough healthy teeth remaining along the dental arch to support a dental bridge. They should be in good general dental health.
Patients who receive dental bridges need to have realistic expectations about the care and maintenance of their bridges. Brushing and soaking of the removable appliance are both important for ensure the lifespan of the bridge as well as the patient's overall dental health. Full instructions for cleaning and care can be provided during the consultation process.
Creating a Custom Dental Bridge
Each dental bridge is custom created to match the needs of each patient. This involves the careful assessment of the patient's dental records as well as the patient's remaining teeth. Your dentist will work carefully to craft a bridge that fits snugly and looks as natural as possible.
In addition to removable dental bridges, there are fixed appliances that can be used:
- Crown-supported dental bridges
- Implant-supported dental bridges
Let's look at each right now so you understand these options.
Crown-Supported Dental Bridges
Crown-supported dental bridges are dental bridges that are fixed with dental crowns on the natural teeth. In general, these natural teeth bookend the dental bridge and lead to a secure bracing of the bridge when in place.
Implant-Supported Dental Bridges
Implant-supported dental bridges are bridges that are fixed in place by dental implants. Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that are surgically embedded into the patient's jawbone and gum tissue. When in place and given time to heal and fuse with the natural structures of the mouth, these dental implants provide a level of support and stability that is comparable to natural tooth roots.
Alternatives to Dental Bridges
If a patient has suffered from extensive tooth loss that is too much for a dental bridge, the use of a partial denture or a full denture is the most ideal option. This is a set of false teeth that is held in place by bracing around the patient's remaining gum tissue and jawbone structure. Dentures may also be held in place with dental implants.
During your consultation, we will be sure to go over all potential options for care so that you can make an informed choice about your treatments for missing teeth.
Learn More About Your Dental Care Options
For more information about dental bridges and your many other options out there for advanced dental care treatments for missing teeth, be sure to contact our cosmetic and restorative dental care center today. The entire team at Heringer Dentistry looks forward to meeting you in person and helping you achieve the best with regard to your overall health and wellness.
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"The staff was amazing and made me feel at complete ease... I truly cannot say enough about how wonderful my experience was… I highly highly recommend Dr. Heringer. I will never see another dentist again, they are stuck with me!"