As we discussed in Monday’s post, adult tooth loss can be a serious issue. Once your adult teeth are gone, there’s no replacing them. Luckily, modern dentistry has advanced to the point where there are several options for those who have suffered irreversible tooth loss. One of those options is a dental bridge.
What is a Dental Bridge, Anyway?
Dental terminology can often be jargonistic and confusing, but bridges are actually quite simple. In order to replace a lost adult tooth, your dentist will attach a “bridge” composed of two crowns and a false tooth, known as a “pontic,” fused together. The two crowns will be set on the adjacent teeth to your missing tooth and function as an anchor for the false tooth, holding it in place. The procedure generally takes place over two visits and is relatively simple and pain-free. If you are missing more than one adjacent tooth you may need to opt for a removable bridge or dentures. One of the Lakeway Center for Cosmetic and Family Dentistry’s specialties is in bridge insertion, so if you’d like to read more about Dr. D’Alfonso’s experience with bridges and the dental bridge procedure.
What are the Facts?
Appearance — Bridges will restore your smile to its prior state and technology has advanced to the point where bridges are indistinguishable from your normal teeth to all but the most experienced eye.
Cost — In comparison to dental implants (which will be covered in a future blog), bridges are a much cheaper alternative for those with lost teeth.
Replacement — Unlike dental implants, bridges may require replacement after a period of time, generally between ten and fifteen years of use.
General Care and Treatment — The general sentiment by dental professionals is that implants are easier to take care of and easier to maintain. Some people think it is more difficult to practice normal dental hygiene with a bridge, especially when it comes to flossing.
Stress on Surrounding Teeth — A bridge requires extra support from the teeth supporting the pontic, therefore these teeth are more at risk of strain and bite movement. A good dentist will work to prevent these possibilities.
Dr. Robert D’Alfonso is specialist in cosmetic dental procedures such as bridges. Therefore, you should feel free to contact the Lakeway Center for Cosmetic & Family Dentistry at anytime to ask questions regarding bridges, implants or other restorative dental treatment or to schedule an appointment to discuss your options and get your smile back to its perfect condition!