What Are Dental Bridges?
As people age, so do their teeth. There are many factors that can cause tooth loss, including age, improper care, or an accident. Regardless of the reason, it is unhealthy to walk around with a missing tooth because it can lead to further gum and jawbone damage. It can also be painful and make eating breathing uncomfortable. Most people with missing teeth also feel self-conscious. These are all reasons patients with missing teeth should look into options for replacing the missing teeth.
One common treatment option for teeth replacement is a fixed prosthetic device (FPD), also known as a dental bridge. A dental bridge is an artificial tooth attached to two dental crowns that will go over the natural teeth on either side of the missing tooth, creating a bridge. Dental bridges are quite strong and mimic the appearance and functionality of natural teeth and offer gum and bone protection.
How We Can Help You
For patients in the Burke, Virginia area who are missing teeth, we recommend that you schedule an appointment with Burke Dental. The team at Burke Dental is led by Dr. Ghanavati, a highly accredited dentist, and strives to give our patients the best care. We also believe in giving patients the right treatment for them, knowing that every patient is an individual and that even with something as common tooth loss there is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Perhaps dental bridges are the right option, but maybe they are not and after a consultation, the team at Burke Dental is able to steer our patients to the cosmetic dentistry procedure that is right for them.
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Benefits of Dental Bridges
Dental bridges are an alternative to dental implants or dentures and are one of the most common options for tooth replacement. Dental bridges are a great long-term solution to replace missing teeth. Dental bridges can be considered the middle-of-the-road tooth replacement procedure, more convenient than dentures and less intrusive than dental implants. There are many reasons for a patient to consider getting dental bridges:
- Missing teeth can cause long term damage. If a patient waits too long to replace a missing tooth they run the risk of further damaging their gums and jawbone. This can also make future procedures more difficult and require additional procedures such as a sinus lift or bone graft. However, if a dental bridge is placed immediately then the risk of further damage is minimized.
- Allows patients to speak and chew without issue. Missing teeth can create a gap and cause other teeth to shift, this can make eating some foods difficult as it lessens the strength of the bite. Tooth loss can also make speaking more difficult as it can create a whistling sound. Dental bridges repair the damage and eliminate those potential problems.
- Maintains face and jaw shape. Missing teeth can cause existing teeth to shift, it can also cause the jawbone to deteriorate and shift, changing a patient’s appearance. Dental bridges anchor all the teeth in place and keep the natural shape of the mouth and jaw.
- Dental bridges don’t have to be removed. Unlike dentures which have to be removed at night and sometimes at meals, dental bridges remain in a patient’s mouth at all times. There is no special cleaning tablets that need to be used, no awkwardness in having to remove teeth. Instead, the patient just goes about their everyday life.
- No impact to the jawbone. Dental implants are inserted directly into the jawline, which requires a certain amount of healthy jawbone to be remaining. It is a procedure that many may find off-putting. However, dental bridges are attached to the side of the remaining natural teeth, so the health of the jawbone is less important and patients have no reason to be intimidated.
Patients in the Burke, Virginia area with missing teeth should contact the office of Burke Dental to learn more about treatment options, including dental bridges. For patients who do not want the hassle of dentures, but may not be an ideal candidate for dental implants, bridges could be the most appropriate option.
Types of Dental Bridges
At Burke Dental we offer three type of dental bridges: Porcelain, Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal (PFM), and Gold. This classification refers to the material used to fabricate the artificial tooth attached and the bridge. There are advantages to each type.
Porcelain dental bridges are the most natural looking. This is the type most recommended for front teeth because it is the most realistic looking type of dental bridge.
A Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal (PFM) dental bridge is a hybrid replacement. In this case, the replacement teeth are made of porcelain but attached to a metal base. This type of replacement tooth is stronger than pure porcelain, but may not be quite as natural looking. Because of their metal base, PFM dental bridges may create a gray hue along the gumline.
Gold dental bridges are the most durable, but because they do not have the same natural look as porcelain-based tooth replacement options, we typically recommend them for replacing back teeth only.
Getting Dental Bridges
Patients in Burke, Virginia and the surrounding area are recommended to set up an appointment with our office to discuss various tooth replacement options. To be a good fit for dental bridges, a patient needs to have strong remaining teeth on either side of the missing teeth, something our office will evaluate during an appointment. Once the patient has been assessed by the team at Burke Dental and dental bridges have been decided on as the right choice, we will move onto the next step which is preparing the existing teeth.
The First Appointment
Getting dental bridges generally takes at least two visits to our office. On the first visit, our team will file down the healthy teeth on either side of the missing tooth to prepare the teeth to support the bridge. Once this is done, our team will take impressions of the patient’s mouth so that the bridge can be fabricated. After that, a temporary bridge will be placed to protect the exposed teeth and gum and prevent further damage.
The Second Appointment
Once the custom bridge has been created the patient will come into our office for a second appointment. At this
Dental bridges are a simple procedure with minimal discomfort. The area around the missing teeth will be numbed before the procedure and it will take a few hours for the numbness to wear off. Patients may feel an odd feeling in their mouth for a few days as they adjust to the feeling of the bridge, but there should be minimal pain and discomfort.
Let’s Chat! Contact Burke Dental Today!
Tooth loss can be awkward, uncomfortable and cause long-term oral health problems if left untreated for too long. Dental bridges are a relatively simple, quick procedure that can fix the problem and prevent further issues. Dental bridges allow patients to resume their normal lives without worrying about their teeth. A dental bridge can create a long-term solution that can restore peace of mind and the appearance of a natural, healthy smile.
For patients in the Burke, Virginia area who are considering dental bridges as a solution to tooth loss, the best way to find out if it is the right choice is to make an appointment with our office. Appointments can be requested online or by calling 703-978-6000.
We are located at 9006 Fern Park Drive Ste A, Burke, VA 22015