At SunWest Dental, we understand the importance of replacing teeth lost to trauma, decay, or dental disease as soon as possible to prevent additional oral health issues. We are pleased to offer the popular dental bridge to replace a single tooth or two or more consecutive teeth. Dr. Cheyenne Fazeli relies on your remaining natural teeth surrounding the missing tooth to support the new bridge.
The purpose of a dental bridge is to return full functionality to your mouth. That means you can speak and chew the same way you did before losing teeth. With a bridge firmly in place, you will no longer hesitate to smile but have the confidence to share your smile freely. After receiving your new dental bridge, try to avoid actions that could cause it to break or fall out such as using the treated tooth to open a bottle. Along with brushing and flossing, taking care not to stress your dental bridge is the best way to increase its longevity.
What is a Dental Bridge?
In dentistry, the word bridge means that your dentist uses an artificial restoration to close an unnatural gap between two teeth. A pontic and abutment are the two main pieces of a dental bridge. Pontic is another name for artificial tooth while abutment is the name for the piece of metal that Dr. Fazeli attaches to the back of each supporting tooth. The laboratory staff at SunWest Dental use porcelain to create your pontic. This makes it possible for the replacement teeth and your natural remaining teeth to match in color and shape.
Types of Dental Bridges
Dr. Fazeli will recommend a specific type of dental bridge after completing your initial exam. Factors she takes into consideration include the area of your mouth with the missing tooth and the strength of nearby teeth to support abutments that hold the pontic in place. Below are the four primary types of dental bridges.
Cantilever Dental Bridge
Instead of attaching the replacement tooth to the supporting teeth using an abutment like the traditional procedure, Dr. Fazeli attaches only one tooth to it. This could be the right procedure for you if the missing tooth sits at the back of your mouth and has only one tooth available to provide support. It also works well when one or both supporting teeth don’t have enough strength to support abutments.
Implant-Supported Dental Bridge
Rather than crowns, metal, or porcelain, Dr. Fazeli uses dental implants to hold the new dental bridge firmly in place. If she can’t place separate implants for each missing tooth, she will suspend the replacement tooth between two implant-supported crowns. This procedure requires separate office visits to place the implants and bridges. You will need to wait for the implant site to heal in between appointments.
Maryland Dental Bridge
Dr. Fazeli also attaches abutments to the nearby teeth to support the pontic. However, she uses metal or porcelain materials instead of crowns to bond to the back of the supporting teeth. This is only possible if the teeth to the left and right of the missing teeth retain their strength.
Traditional Dental Bridge
This requires Dr. Fazeli to cement a crown into each supporting tooth to firmly secure the replacement tooth. Dentists typically recommend the traditional dental bridge more than the other three types. It requires you to still have natural teeth to the left and right of the missing tooth to provide support for the abutments and crowns. Additionally, the supporting teeth need to have enough tooth enamel and strength in them to protect against the increased pressure.
Are You A Good Candidate for a Dental Bridge?
Most people who have lost one or more natural teeth due to trauma, disease, or decay are good candidates to receive a dental bridge. You can find out for sure by scheduling a consultation with Dr. Fazeli at SunWest Dental in Chandler, Arizona. After examining your teeth and jaws and taking several X-rays, she will let you know if a bridge or another dental restoration is your best option for replacing a missing tooth.
You might think the only reason to get a dental bridge is to get rid of the hole in your smile to help you feel more attractive. However, cosmetic concerns are only a small part of the reason dentists recommend prompt replacement of missing teeth. They also want to help patients avoid these problems:
Inability to chew food correctly
Uneven bite causing problems with distribution of force
Remaining natural teeth can start moving towards the open spot and cause issues with proper alignment of all teeth
Certain speech sounds may be difficult to produce
Changes to the natural shape of your face
While getting a dental implant as soon as possible after tooth loss is ideal, we understand that doesn’t always happen for a variety of individual reasons. We can help you overcome the problems associated with tooth loss no matter how long you have gone without one or more of your natural teeth. Please contact our Chandler office at 480-985-3252 today to request a consultation with Dr. Fazeli.