Missing teeth can cause anxiety over the appearance of your smile and often cause difficulty when eating or speaking. Dental bridges replace missing teeth and “bridge” the gap in a patient’s smile. Dr. Robert Gauthier is an experienced restorative dentist who can replace your missing teeth with a dental bridge in Northborough, MA.
With advances in dental technology, this type of dental restoration is virtually indistinguishable from your natural teeth. We traditionally bond dental bridges to neighboring teeth; however, we can also attach them to dental implants for a more secure tooth replacement solution.
What is a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge consists of artificial teeth fused together. These false teeth are called pontics. They are fused to dental crowns, which are the parts of the bridge that are responsible for holding the whole restoration in place. The crown portions of the bridge can be bonded to adjacent teeth or secured to dental implants.
Types of Dental Bridges
After a comprehensive evaluation, Dr. Gauthier will review treatment options to give you the smile you deserve. The type of bridge you need will depend on several factors.
Removable Dental Bridge
A removable dental bridge is a cost-effective option for patients looking to restore their smiles on a tighter budget. It is typically considered a temporary solution as it is not as stable or long-lasting as other fixed tooth replacements.
However, it will provide some functionality aesthetics and prevent neighboring teeth from shifting. We will custom make the removable bridge to fit comfortably and securely in the mouth. It will be held in place by clasps or precision attachments.
Fixed Dental Bridge
A fixed dental bridge is a permanent dental restoration that we can use to replace one to several missing teeth in a row. The crown portion of the bridge is secured to adjacent teeth. This fixed, traditional method of replacing missing teeth will restore chewing function, speech, and aesthetics.
It will prevent the surrounding teeth from shifting as well. It offers long term durability and stability and will help improve your oral health and overall health.
Implant Supported Bridge
Dental implants can also anchor dental bridges. Implant-secured dental bridges provide patients with added stability and promote natural bone regeneration, helping to prevent tooth shifting or additional tooth loss. Bridges are highly effective dental restorations and can give you back the confidence you need.
Instead of securing the crowns to the anchor teeth, we will insert at least two dental implants into the jaw bone. Then we will secure the custom bridge to the dental implants.
Benefits of an Implant-Supported Dental Bridge
Implant-supported dental bridges have a 35% higher success rate than traditional bridgework, eliminating the need to prepare and reduce adjacent healthy teeth. Anchor teeth take on a lot of stress. They’re more likely to wear down prematurely, chip or crack, or develop tooth decay.
Dental crowns take on the stress from the natural teeth. But dental crowns require us to shave down the tooth, eliminating a lot of the natural tooth structure.
Dental implants replace the root system from the missing teeth. This promotes continued bone growth, preventing bone shrinkage and gum recession associated with traditional bridges. With traditional bridges, you may incur further costs. The fit of your bridge will change as the jawbone continues to deteriorate. You’ll need to readjust or replace your bridge so that it continues to work the way it should.
There are no diet restrictions with this type of bridge as well. Implant-supported bridges are durable and stable and will not budge in your mouth. Also, there is no need for time-consuming daily maintenance.
You simply brush and floss like usual and visit Apex Dental at least every six months for routine dental care. Dr. Gauthier offers full-service dental implants from the comfort of his Northborough dentist office near you.
Dental Bridge Treatment
Every patient will receive a thorough oral health exam and analysis before treatment. Your Apex dentist will discuss all of your options for replacing missing teeth and help you determine which missing tooth replacement option will fit your budget and goals and restore your oral health.
Patients who choose a dental bridge to replace missing teeth have the option of a traditional removable bridge or an implant-secured bridge. For an implant-secured dental bridge, Dr. Gauthier will coordinate the surgical phase of their treatment. The dental implants will be surgically placed, and a temporary bridge will be used until the implants fully heal and integrate with the surrounding jawbone.
Approximately 3-6 months after implant surgery, patients will return to our Northborough, MA dentist office to be fit with their final dental bridge restoration. A removable bridge will require the proper preparation of adjacent teeth. We file the anchor teeth to make room for the dental bridge. The two teeth on either side of the bridge hold the bridge in place for a more stable bite.
Dental Bridge FAQs
Getting a dental bridge is a great option to replace your missing teeth. If you would like to learn more about this restorative dentistry option, read through our frequently asked questions section first. If you have further questions, feel free to reach out to us during regular business hours or book a consultation today.
Can you repair a broken dental bridge?
Yes, if you have a dental bridge that has chipped, broken, or come loose, you should contact Apex Dental as soon as possible. We may be able to repair the dental bridge if the damage has not compromised the structure or provide replacement options. Do not continue using the bridge if it is damaged because that can cause more issues.
How many teeth can a dental bridge replace in a row?
A traditional dental bridge can replace a single lost tooth or up to three in a row. An implant-supported dental bridge can replace more than three teeth in a row.
Why does my dental bridge hurt?
If your bridge does not fit snuggly, it can cause gum irritation, tooth pain, and more. It’s best to get your bridge adjusted or replaced to ensure it fits seamlessly and does not cause future issues. Visit us at Apex Dental in Northborough for a complete dental exam and specific dental bridge issues.
Can a dental bridge affect speech?
There is a chance that a dental bridge can affect your speech. When you place something new in your mouth, it may take some time for your mouth to adjust to the new appliance.
While you adjust, you may experience some minor changes in how you pronounce things. However, the more you practice and adapt, the faster you will adjust. After the adjustment period, your speech should not be significantly altered.
Will I need to replace my dental bridge in the future?
Most people will need to get a new dental bridge at some point. This is because they wear down due to normal wear and tear. However, with proper care, regular dental check-ups, and maintenance, you can make your dental bridge last for many years.
At each dental checkup, your dentist will monitor the condition of your dental restoration. The lifespan of a typical dental bridge is about 5-7 years; however, with excellent care, it can surpass 10 years.
Request an Appointment for a Dental Bridge in Northborough, MA
If you are interested in learning more about how to restore your smile with dental bridges, contact us today. You can reach our Northborough dental office at (508) 506-1691 or schedule an appointment with Dr. Gauthier online by filling out the provided form.