If you have missing teeth or require extractions, it is vital to consider how you will replace your missing teeth. Restoring your teeth as best as possible will support your long-term oral health. One of your treatment options includes a dental bridge. This critical restorative dentistry treatment provides an effective solution for patients facing the challenges of missing teeth. Longview Family Dental can provide you with a custom dental bridge in Longview, TX if you are missing one tooth or several consecutive missing teeth.
What is a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge is a fixed dental prosthesis designed to replace one or more missing teeth. It is made up of false teeth, known as pontics, which are anchored to adjacent natural teeth or dental implants. The purpose of a tooth bridge is to “bridge” the gap created by missing teeth, restoring both the aesthetic appearance of your smile and the functional aspects of your teeth.
Why Do I Need a Dental Bridge?
There are several important reasons why you may need a dental bridge. No matter how you lose your teeth, whether due to tooth decay, gum disease, infection, or an injury, you need to replace them. A tooth bridge is necessary for:
Aesthetic Concerns: One of the primary reasons you should get a dental bridge is to restore a natural and aesthetically pleasing smile. Gaps caused by missing teeth will impact your self-confidence and the overall appearance of your teeth. Replacing your teeth with a bridge will make you confident to smile or engage in social activities.
Functional Implications: Missing teeth can lead to functional challenges such as biting or chewing food and speaking clearly. Replacing your teeth with a dental bridge will help restore proper occlusion and improve the functionality of the oral cavity. You will be able to maintain a proper diet and never have to worry about speaking clearly.
Preventing Further Dental Issues: Gaps left by missing teeth can result in the shifting of your adjacent, remaining teeth. When your teeth shift out of alignment, this will cause bite issues, possibly even a TMJ disorder. A dental bridge will fill in this gap to help maintain the proper alignment of your teeth and prevent potential dental problems in the future.
Maintaining Facial Structure: Your teeth are vital to supporting the facial structure. When some of those teeth are lost, this can lead to sagging facial muscles. A dental bridge will help maintain the natural shape of your face by providing support and preventing the collapse of your facial features.
Types of Dental Bridges
We offer several types of dental bridges, each designed to address specific dental situations. After a consultation and examination, your Longview Family Dental dentist will help you determine the most appropriate type of dental restoration for you. Your oral health, the location of your missing teeth, and your personal preferences are all factors that will determine which dental bridge will work best for you. The main types of dental bridges include:
Traditional Dental Bridges
Traditional dental bridges are the most common type of bridge. They consist of pontics held in place by dental crowns on adjacent natural teeth. Your dentist will prepare the adjacent teeth, known as abutment teeth, by removing a portion of enamel to accommodate the crowns. Traditional bridges are suitable when strong and healthy adjacent teeth are available for support.
Cantilever Dental Bridges
Cantilever bridges are similar to traditional bridges but differ in the way your dentist will anchor them. Instead of being supported on both sides, your dentist will attach a cantilever bridge to a single adjacent tooth. We use this type of bridge when there is only one healthy natural tooth next to the gap.
Maryland Bonded Bridges
Maryland bonded bridges, also known as resin-bonded bridges, utilize a metal or porcelain framework that the dentist will bond the backs of adjacent teeth. This type of bridge is a more conservative option as it requires minimal alteration of the adjacent teeth. A dentist will choose a Maryland bonded bridge for front teeth restoration.
Implant-supported bridges are secured to dental implants that are surgically placed in the jawbone. Unlike traditional bridges that rely on natural teeth for support, implant-supported bridges offer a more stable and durable solution. This type is suitable for individuals with multiple missing teeth and those seeking a long-term, permanent solution. To learn more about the dental implant-supported bridge process, see Dental Implants.
Dental bridges are vital to restoring the oral health of our patients. They are an effective means to address the aesthetic, functional, and oral health consequences of missing teeth. If you would like to learn more about replacing your teeth with a dental bridge in Longview, TX, contact us today or request an appointment online. Dr. Chris Goelz and Dr. William Jennings will help you determine the appropriate type of dental bridge you will need to restore your smile.