Cosmetic Dentist Explains Dental Bridges


Cosmetic DentistWhile it’s never pleasant, one of the realities of advancing age is the possibility of losing some of your natural teeth. If you’ve already lost one to three adjacent teeth, you may want to discuss your replacement options with your cosmetic dentist. One of those options is a dental bridge; with the advent of dental implants, their role in world of restorative dentistry is changing. Cosmetic dentist Dr. Carol Ford offers the following information about dental bridges to assist you in determining if it would be the right option for you.

What is a Dental Bridge?

Much like an actual bridge on a road, dental bridges span the gap between your natural teeth, filling it with an artificial tooth that resembles a crown. There are two parts to a bridge – the abutment, which are the natural teeth which are modified by the cosmetic dentist to accept crown-like structures that will support the bridge, and the pontic, which is the artificial tooth that spans the gap. There are several types of bridges, including traditional bridges, cantaliever bridges and Maryland-bonded bridges, as well as new bridges that are supported by dental implants, instead of natural teeth. The best candidates for a dental bridge are patients who have lost one to three teeth adjacent to each other, whose other natural teeth and gums are structurally sound, and who have not experienced significant bone loss in their jaw.

How Can Dental Bridges Help Me?

  • The most common benefits resulting from having a dental bridge include:
  • Eating and speaking become easier.
  • The shape of the patient’s face and the aesthetics of their smile are improved.
  • The dental bridge helps distribute bite force better when a patient is eating.
  • The bridge also keeps the remaining natural teeth from drifting or shifting position in the mouth.

What Are Common Concerns Related to Dental Bridges?

The health of the natural teeth that support the bridge determine the longevity of this restoration. Bridges can be difficult to floss and clean around, and this can lead to decay in the abutment teeth. Unless the bridge is implant-supported, bone resorption from the missing teeth is still possible.

“The options for replacing multiple teeth have expanded greatly since the time when a dental bridge was the preferred treatment,” says Dr. Ford, who operates her practice as a cosmetic dentist in central Phoenix. “But this method can still provide great results for certain patients.”

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