Why Would You Need a Dental Bridge?

If you have a missing tooth, or one that is severely decayed or broken and is not stable enough to hold a dental crown on its own, then a dental bridge for teeth may have been suggested as a treatment option by your dentist.  So, what is a dental bridge and why would you need one?

A dental bridge is a set of teeth that, as the name aptly implies, creates a bridge over the space where a tooth is missing in the mouth.  With a traditional dental bridge, a false tooth (also known as a “pontic”) is attached on each side to a dental crown that is secured to the adjacent teeth (called an “abutment”), or they can be attached to a dental implant if there is no healthy tooth available.  The pontic remains securely attached to the crowns on either side with a metal bridge and literally bridges the gap, or open space, between the teeth.

The main reason you would need to get a dental bridge is if you have one or more missing teeth in your mouth.  Dental bridges restore the look of your smile by replacing the missing tooth with one that can look as natural as the original.  In addition to the aesthetic benefits brought about by dental bridges, the dental procedure can also restore or maintain proper chewing, biting and speaking and can maintain the proper form for your bite and proper shape of your face.  By placing a false tooth in the space where a tooth is missing, it also stops adjacent teeth from shifting or drifting into the void left by the tooth, which can set your whole bite out of whack.

If a tooth is missing in a location where there are not teeth available on both sides to secure the abutments of the bridge, then a cantilever bridge can be used rather than a traditional bridge.  With a cantilever bridge, the pontic is secured only on one side to an abutment because there are no teeth available on the other side.  This does not create as stable a bridge, but may be necessary if the bridge is needed for a back molar where there is no other tooth positioned behind it.

Dental bridges are a popular option in situations where a tooth or teeth are missing.  They can be typically completed in two office visits.  In the first visit, the adjacent teeth are prepared and filed down to fit the dental crowns that will sit over them and secure the bridge.  Impressions are taken so that a laboratory can create a permanent dental bridge that will fit properly in the mouth.  In the meantime, a temporary bridge is created to be worn while the permanent one is completed.  A second dental visit is required to fit, adjust and attach the permanent dental bridge.  In some cases, the bridge is only temporarily secured so that any changes to fit and bite can be made before the bridge is more permanently secured.

Another option for replacing a missing tooth is to have a dental implant placed in the mouth.  With this procedure, the tooth is permanently secured to a titanium rod that is surgically implanted directly into the jawbone, therefore requiring no additional securing to adjacent teeth. Dental implants require a more invasive procedure than dental bridges and the choice between the two treatment options should to be weighed based on individual needs.  In some cases where multiple teeth are missing, dental implants can be used as the abutments, with a dental bridge created to fill in the missing space between the implants.

Determining whether you need a dental bridge, and weighing the benefits and drawbacks of dental bridges compared to other dental treatment options, is best done by speaking to one of the dental professionals at Park Dental Care.  We will create a customized treatment plan for each patient based on dental needs, budget and desired outcomes.

For more information about dental bridges in Queens, NY, contact Park Dental Care today at 718-Dentist.  At Park Dental Care of Astoria, we offer many restorative and cosmetic dentistry options, including dental bridges.  Queens residents, as well as those located throughout metropolitan NYC, will find that we are conveniently located near the N & Q subway lines at the Astoria-Ditmars Blvd. station.  Let us show you how dental bridges can help restore your smile and can provide an attractive and secure solution for missing teeth.

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