Restore your smile with a dental bridge; a natural-looking oral solution for replacing one or more missing teeth. At Lake City Dental, we craft each bridge to perfectly fit each patient, resulting in a dental bridge that feels comfortable and looks beautiful. Dental bridges fill the gap or gaps in between teeth and are secured to the teeth on either side of the dental bridge. Contact our dentists in Lake City today to learn more about our encompassing range of cosmetic, therapeutic, and restorative dental services and to schedule an appointment! Our Lake City dental team will work with you to help you select the most suitable option for replacing missing teeth and restoring a smile that boosts your confidence.
What Is A Dental Bridge?
As indicated by their name, dental bridges “bridge” the gap between one or more missing teeth and the surrounding, existing teeth with one or more custom-made false teeth. For patients who have missing teeth, a dental bridge from your dentist in Lake City can help restore both the appearance and function of your teeth. Bridges typically comprise crowns on either side of the missing tooth or teeth supporting the false tooth, also known as a pontic, and are cemented in place.
A typical dental bridge features abutment teeth and pontics. With abutment teeth, your Lake City dentist places two crowns on either side of the gap. The abutment teeth, also known as anchoring or supporting teeth, can act as your natural teeth or dental implants. With pontics, this false tooth (or teeth) fills the gap in your teeth and attaches to the crowns. For more information about dental treatment with bridges, contact Lake City Dental!
Benefits Of Dental Bridges
A dental bridge can help those seeking to restore their smiles with several benefits, with a custom-fitted, professional oral solution for missing teeth. Dental bridges from our Lake City dentists may offer the following benefits.
- Help facilitate a proper bite
- Prevent remaining teeth from moving out of place
- Restore your ability to chew, speak, and perform other tasks
- Improve the appearance of your smile
- Foster a greater sense of self-confidence
- Boost your overall oral health and wellbeing
Who Needs A Dental Bridge?
When a tooth or multiple teeth are missing, nearby teeth can shift into the empty space. The teeth located in your opposite jaw can also move down or up toward the space, potentially causing bite issues, chewing difficulties, pain, and a loss of self-esteem. Dental bridges may be an ideal option for you if you have a missing tooth or more than one missing tooth and you desire to restore your smile.
There is a wide range of reasons for missing teeth, yet the most common causes of missing teeth are tooth decay, gum disease (periodontitis), and accidents or injuries. In some cases, patients may have been born with missing teeth due to a congenital condition. In order to place a dental bridge properly into the mouth, patients must have healthy teeth on either side of the missing teeth. Is a dental bridge an optimal solution for your needs? Contact us today to schedule an appointment with a dentist in Lake City.
Types Of Dental Bridges
Bridges can be made from multiple different materials, such as metal or ceramic. The material for a bridge is chosen based on the aesthetic preferences and functional demands of each patient. There are four primary dental bridge types: traditional fixed bridge, cantilever bridge, resin-bonded bridge, and implant-supported bridge. A dental bridge is commonly used to fill the space of a single missing tooth, yet it may also be used to replace four or more missing teeth.
The greater the number of teeth missing in a patient’s mouth, the greater number of teeth on the bridge will be required. If a patient is missing a substantial number of their teeth, the dentist may recommend alternative treatment options. To determine the best dental bridge type for your needs, please contact our Lake City dentistry office.
Traditional Fixed Bridge
The most common type of dental bridge is a traditional fixed bridge. This dental bridge has two or more crowns with a filler tooth or multiple filler teeth that connect to one another. The crowns keep the bridge in place. Traditional fixed bridges can be made from metal, ceramic, or porcelain fused to metal.
With cantilever bridges, the pontic, which is a false tooth or teeth that fill in the gap in your smile and attach to dental crowns, connects to one abutment or anchoring tooth. A cantilever bridge may be a good option for patients who have healthy teeth on only one side of the gap that is missing the tooth or teeth.
A resin-bonded bridge, or Marland dental bridge, is used for patients missing one front tooth or multiple front teeth. This dental bridge type is made from porcelain that is fused to metal or ceramic teeth, which are supported by a framework in the mouth. The dental bridge has wings on each side, which serve to bond the bridge to the surrounding teeth.
Implant-supported dental bridges are similar to traditional fixed bridges, yet these bridges are supported by a tooth implant rather than being supported by cementing it into place (as with traditional fixed devices). For more information about bridges supported by dental implants, please contact our office.
Dental Bridge Procedure
A dental bridge procedure typically requires two separate appointments with your Lake City family dentist. During the initial appointment for a dental bridge, your dentist will reshape your abutment teeth by removing part of the enamel and dentin of each tooth in order to make adequate space for the crown. Next, your provider will take impressions or take digital scans of your teeth and send the results to a dental laboratory.
The dental laboratory uses the resulting mold or scans as a model to create the dental bridge, as well as any required false teeth and crowns. While the lab created the bridge, you will wear a temporary bridge to protect exposed areas in your mouth. During the second dental bridge appointment, your dentist will remove the temporary bridge from your mouth and then place the permanent bridge. They will then carefully inspect the permanent bridge and make any required adjustments to ensure a seamless fit.
How Long Do Dental Bridges Last?
With proper dental care for your bridge, your bridge can last for many years without complications or issues. However, if the teeth surrounding the bridge start to decay or if the cement used during the procedure wears away and deteriorates, then your bridge may require replacement or an alternative dental treatment.
If, at some point, you feel that your dental bridge has shifted the way it fits or if it becomes loose, and the teeth supporting your bridge are still healthy and intact, then your dentist can reattach the bridge with supplemental dental cement. When cared for properly, both at home and with regular visits to your dentist, your dental bridge can last a minimum of 5–7 years or more.
With excellent oral hygiene and regular dental cleanings and checkups with Lake City Dental, a dental bridge can last for more than a decade. Contact us today to schedule your appointment for dental treatment!
How To Care For Dental Bridges
The success of your dental bridge depends on the health, strength, and longevity of your remaining teeth, particularly the teeth surrounding the bridge. For patients with a bridge, it’s especially important that they prevent tooth decay and gum disease, both of which can result in the loss of additional teeth. For proper tooth and gum care with a bridge, you should follow these recommendations. For additional information, contact Lake City Dental.
- Practice proper dental hygiene. Brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once each day. Your dentist can show you the best way to brush and floss. Your dentist will likely recommend that you use a special type of floss (a threader), which will allow you to slide the floss in between your bridge and your gums.
- Get regular professional cleanings. Scheduling and attending regular dental appointments for twice-yearly cleanings and check-ups are essential for detecting any issues early and when treatment is typically more successful.
- Eat a well-balanced, healthy diet. Just as at-home and in-office oral care are important for your oral health, so too is eating a balanced diet. Include plenty of fruits, vegetables, and fiber-rich foods. Stay away from chewy and fibrous foods.