When you are missing a single tooth or several of your natural teeth, Dr. Andrew Nguyen might recommend a dental bridge as a great restorative option. The restoration relies on neighboring teeth for support while returning full functionality to your mouth. After you receive your new dental bridge, it will much easier for you to speak and chew just as you did before losing your natural teeth.
Understanding Dental Bridges
A dental bridge uses one or more types of dental restorations to close the gap between two teeth. It contains abutments on the back that attach to the neighboring teeth for support. It also holds a pontic, which is the proper name for an artificial tooth. Pontics, created from porcelain by dental manufacturers, retain a similar shape and color to your natural teeth. This helps the dental bridge to blend in as seamlessly as possible.
With a dental bridge cemented, you no longer have to worry about displaying an unsightly gap when you smile. Additionally with the dental bridge cemented, you don’t have to worry about taking the bridge in and out of your mouth; the restoration is definitively attached to your natural teeth and function like your own teeth. With proper care and hygiene, your dental bridge should last an average of 10 years.
Types of Dental Bridges
Before recommending a specific type of dental bridge, Dr. Nguyen will complete an evaluation of your missing teeth and the teeth next to them. This is to determine if they’re strong enough to provide support for the new dental bridge. Below is a description of the four primary types of dental bridges.
With a cantilever bridge, Dr. Nguyen attaches a pontic to a single tooth. This could be the right solution for you if you’re missing a back tooth with only one nearby tooth for support. He could also recommend a cantilever bridge if the teeth to the left and right of the missing tooth aren’t strong enough to support an abutment.
This type of dental bridge uses implants for support instead of a crown, metal, or porcelain. If Dr. Nguyen can’t place an implant for each missing tooth, he will place the pontic between two implant-supported crowns. This requires one procedure to place the implants and a second one to place the bridge.
Maryland bridges have abutments attached to two supporting teeth to stabilize the new restoration. Dr. Nguyen uses metal or porcelain materials bonded to the back of neighboring teeth with abutments attached to them.
This consists of placing a crown in each abutment tooth to keep the artificial tooth in place. It requires that you have natural teeth on both sides of the gap left by the missing tooth. The adjacent teeth must have enough tooth enamel and strength to remain healthy despite the added pressure of the dental bridge.
Who Can Benefit from Dental Bridges?
Most people who have lost at least one natural tooth to trauma, disease, or decay make good candidates for dental bridges. The best way to determine if this is the right choice for you is to schedule an appointment with Dr. Nguyen at Blue Wave Smiles. He will let you know your best tooth replacement options by the end of the appointment.
While some patients only consider replacement teeth for cosmetic reasons, it’s also important think about long-term oral health. The longer you go without a dental bridge, the more likely you are to experience at least one of these issues:
- Improper chewing of food
- Uneven bite and distribution force of bite
- Problems with tooth alignment when your remaining natural teeth shift towards the gap left behind by the missing tooth
- Difficulty producing certain sounds of speech
- Changes to your facial shape.
It’s in your best interest to contact our dental practice to discuss your restoration options as soon as possible after losing a tooth. Even so, we can work with you no matter how long it’s been since you lost the natural tooth.
Ready to Learn More About Getting Dental Bridges?
Dr. Nguyen and the entire team at Blue Wave Smiles want to provide you with the best solutions that allow you to enjoy excellent oral health at any age. Please reach out to schedule an appointment with Blue Wave Smiles today to learn more about your dental restoration options, including dental bridges.
We also want you to know that we value diversity. The members of our staff speak Vietnamese and Spanish in addition to English. Regardless of your age or tooth loss situation, we enjoy educating patients about dental health issues to help them makes the best decisions for themselves and family members. You may reach Blue Wave Smiles at 949-498-6840 or complete this form to request a callback for questions or appointment requests. We can’t wait to give you a new smile.