If you are missing one or more teeth, you likely understand the degree to which tooth loss can interfere with simple tasks such as eating, speaking clearly, and smiling with confidence. To restore your smile and dental function by bridging gaps between your teeth, Dr. Thomas G. Zarger offers dental bridges at his Knoxville, TN, practice.
What are Dental Bridges?
A traditional dental bridge consists of two dental crowns with pontics, or artificial teeth, affixed between them. Bridges are ideal for patients who are missing several consecutive teeth. Crowns are placed over existing teeth on either side of the gap, and the pontics replace the missing teeth in between.
Following your comprehensive examination and detailed consultation with Dr. Zarger, he will help you to decide if a dental bridge is the best treatment option for you. The condition of your surrounding teeth will help determine whether a traditional bridge or an implant-supported bridge is most appropriate.
A dental bridge artfully replaces missing teeth to achieve a renewed, natural look.
Understanding the Procedure
Traditional and implant-supported bridges are placed using two different methods. Both types of bridges offer unique benefits.
When you opt to receive a traditional bridge, the doctor will first administer a local anesthetic to the treatment area. Next, he will create space for your bridge by removing a small amount of enamel from the teeth over which the crowns will be placed. He will then take a highly detailed impression of your teeth and send it to our partner lab, where your bridge will be fabricated.
Once your custom-made bridge is ready, you will return to our office for the final step of the procedure. The doctor will cement the bridge to the prepared teeth on either side of the gap, provide a thorough dental cleaning, and finally, examine your bite to ensure proper alignment.
A dental bridge is an effective restoration that can help to renew your confidence as well as reestablish proper dental function.
If you are undergoing an implant-supported restoration, you will receive dental implants prior to your bridge. Once the dental implants are placed, you must wait until they completely fuse to your jawbone, in a process called osseointegration, before your restoration is affixed.
Osseointegration typically requires anywhere from between two and six months to complete. Despite the long waiting period, dental implants offer the most long-lasting and stable base for your bridge. Once the implants have fused with your jawbone, the doctor will securely attach your custom-made bridge to abutments on the implants.
Benefits of Dental Bridges
Dental bridges serve a number of important purposes that can help restore your comfort as well as the aesthetics of your smile. A dental bridge can help you to:
- Eat your favorite foods more comfortably
- Speak more clearly
- Prevent teeth from shifting out of position
- Feel more confident because of an enhanced appearance
From a cosmetic standpoint, the dental bridge is a lifelike restoration that will blend virtually seamlessly with your surrounding teeth.
Additionally, if you receive an implant-supported bridge, the implants will strengthen and stimulate your jawbone, helping to prevent the natural degeneration that occurs following tooth loss.
Schedule Your Consultation
If missing teeth are interfering with your daily activities or reducing your quality of life, a dental bridge is an effective restoration that can help to renew your confidence as well as reestablish proper dental function. If you would like to learn more about how Dr. Zarger can help you artfully fill unwanted gaps in your smile, schedule your consultation today.