Thanks to advancements made in dental technology, there are all kinds of options available to replace missing teeth these days. However, not everyone is able or willing to undergo the oral surgery required to place dental implants, and dentures can sometimes lose their fit, resulting in embarrassing situations. Fortunately, there’s a third option for easy, lifelike tooth replacement – dental bridges. Here at Smile by Design, Dr. Santos and Dr. Folck can use dental bridges in Virginia Beach to restore your smile back to its former appearance and function. Read more below to learn all about bridges and how they can benefit you.
A dental bridge, also known as a fixed bridge, is a restorative treatment that can be used to replace one, two, or even three consecutive missing teeth at the same time. Bridges consist of artificial teeth called pontics that we attach to crowns that are placed on either implants or your remaining natural teeth, which are referred to as abutment teeth. While pontics can be made from a variety of materials, we typically choose dental porcelain due to its remarkable ability to mimic the enamel of the teeth you were born with. Each bridge is custom-made to blend in with your surrounding teeth, giving you the full set of beautiful pearly whites you deserve.
Patients who are missing up to three teeth in a row are ideal candidates for a dental bridge. In order to be eligible for a bridge, the teeth on either end of the gap in your smile must be in good enough condition to support dental crowns. Alternatively, you must be able to receive an implant on both ends of this space. If your missing teeth are not consecutive and are instead more sporadic, you might be a better candidate for a partial denture rather than a bridge.
After a consultation to confirm that a dental bridge is right for you, your dentist in Virginia Beach will prepare your abutment teeth by removing the outermost layer of enamel. Following that, we’ll take impressions of your mouth to create a mold. This mold is then sent to a dental lab, where it’s used to craft a bridge that will fit your unique oral structure. While that’s being made, we can provide you with a temporary bridge to protect your teeth and gums from damage.
During a follow-up appointment a few weeks later, we’ll replace your temporary with your finished permanent bridge. We’ll also provide you with information on how to care for it. With regular oral hygiene and dental checkups, your new teeth could last 10 years or even longer!
Dental bridges offer a relatively simple, quick, and cost-effective solution to tooth loss, especially when compared to implants. You can even get them if you have undergone bone loss in your jaw without having to receive a bone grafting surgery.
Bridges restore your ability to speak clearly, chew effectively, and smile confidently. They also maintain the shape of your facial muscles and prevent your remaining teeth from drifting out of place. Failing to replace missing teeth can lead to a host of oral health problems, like an increased risk of gum disease. With dental bridges, you can enhance your smile as well as your quality of life!
If you’re tired of dealing with the inconveniences of having missing teeth, contact us today at Smile by Design to discuss your options. We look forward to helping you improve your smile!
Tooth loss can affect more than just your appearance – it can impact your quality of life as well. Fortunately, you no longer have to live with gaps in your smile. At Smile by Design, we offer dental bridges to replace your missing teeth. Even though they are a trusted tooth-replacement solution, it’s understandable to have some questions before committing. Below, we’ve answered some frequently asked questions from patients about dental bridges in Virginia Beach. If you don’t see your question, be sure to contact our team.
No, since dental bridges are designed to stay in your mouth for years after they’ve been placed. You shouldn’t be able to take the restoration out by yourself – only a dental professional can do that. While you may have heard partial dentures referred to as “removable bridges,” that’s not accurate. One of the most notable differences between partials and bridges is that partials can be removed at any time.
Dental bridges can replace a single missing tooth or several in a row. As a result, they are ideal for patients who are missing 1-4 teeth. If you are unsure whether dental bridges are right for addressing your specific dental needs, then don’t hesitate to schedule a personal consultation with our dentist in Virginia Beach – they’ll help you decide.
Dental bridges typically last 5-15 years. The longevity of yours depends on a few factors like the materials used, the location of the dental bridge in your mouth, and how well you care for your smile. To elaborate, high-quality materials (we usually use dental porcelain) will naturally last longer than cheaper alternatives that are a short-term solution at best. The location matters as well since dental bridges toward the back of your mouth withstand a lot more pressure from chewing. And, of course, your oral hygiene routine will impact the condition of your teeth, gums, and dental bridge.
Before your procedure, we’ll numb your teeth with a topical anesthetic to ensure you’re completely comfortable. After your teeth are prepared to support a dental bridge, they may feel slightly sensitive for the next few days. The good news is you can easily manage your discomfort by taking over-the-counter pain medication as needed. If you’re receiving an implant bridge, you may experience mild soreness after your oral surgery. However, diligently following your aftercare instructions will help keep your pain to a minimum.