Ready to get a dental bridge in Anchorage? Dental bridges, which consist of one or more replacement teeth that fill the gap left by one or more missing teeth, do much more than improve the appearance of a smile. They restore a proper bite and normal chewing and speaking function. Bridges also preserve the surrounding teeth and prevent them from shifting around in the mouth, which can lead to serious complications.
You have several choices in dental bridges, and Dr. Kennedy of Turnagain Dental can guide you to select the best fit for your personal dental needs. Book a consultation with the trusted restorative dentist to explore your options and find the most suitable solution.
Types of Dental Bridges
A traditional dental bridge consists of two dental crowns affixed to an artificial tooth (sometimes referred to as a pontic). The pontic fits into the space left by the missing tooth and the crowns are mounted to the teeth on either side of the space. To place a traditional bridge, Dr. Kennedy must slightly modify the shape of the adjacent teeth to accommodate the crowns.
Nowadays, it is becoming more common to support dental bridges with implants. Implant-supported bridges can replace more than one tooth without relying on the surrounding teeth for support. The two crowns on either end of the bridge are attached to dental implant posts and support one or more artificial teeth in the middle. An added benefit of implant-supported bridges is that the implant posts stimulate the underlying jawbone to prevent it from deteriorating due to lack of use.
Another type of dental bridge is a cantilever bridge, in which only one natural tooth is crowned. This crown typically supports two artificial teeth. Cantilever bridges aren’t as commonly used, but are a suitable solution for certain patients.
The third type of dental bridge is a Maryland bonded bridge. With this bridge, the artificial tooth has two small wings, or clasps, that attach to the backs of the teeth on either side of the gap. The backs of the teeth are slightly etched so the clasps can better adhere. These clasps can be crafted from either metal or resin materials.
Placing a Dental Bridge
The placement process largely depends on the type of bridge.
With a traditional bridge, Dr. Kennedy must first remove a small bit of tooth structure from the teeth adjacent to the gap. Once these teeth have been modified, impressions will be made for the design and construction of the crown.
Dr. Kennedy can place a temporary bridge over the area while the permanent bridge is being fabricated. This preserves normal dental function and protects the reshaped teeth.
Once the permanent bridge is ready, Dr. Kennedy removes the provisional restoration and places the bridge in the mouth. He checks its fit and the bite and can make any last-minute modifications if needed. Finally, Dr. Kennedy cements the bridge into place and polishes it.
When properly cared for, dental bridges can last a very long time. Dr. Kennedy provides detailed instructions for at-home oral hygiene and returning to his office for check-ups.
Book a Consultation to Discuss Bridges
If you are bothered by a noticeable gap left by a missing tooth or teeth, dental bridges can help. Request an appointment with Dr. Kennedy to discuss your bridge options today.