Dental Bridges: Should I Get One?
A dental bridge is a fixed restoration that’s used for replacing missing teeth. They look like dental crowns lined up in a row (designed to blend in with your smile), but only the “teeth” on each end rest over an actual tooth. The ones between them are pontic teeth that are suspended in place, filling in the gap that’s caused by your missing ones.
If you’re debating getting a dental bridge or another type of tooth replacement, here’s what you ought to know before calling our Phoenix dentist’s office.
If You’re Only Missing 1-2 Teeth
A traditional dental bridge works best if you’re only missing 1-2 teeth. Since it’s suspended on top of a pair of natural teeth (one on each side of the gap) you don’t want it to have to support too much weight. Otherwise, you run the risk of straining the support teeth and causing the entire restoration to give out early.
Bridges are one of the most traditional ways to replace 1-2 teeth and were the preferred treatment before dental implants became mainstream. They’re still frequently used today, especially if we have patients that don’t qualify for dental implant therapy or need to update an existing dental bridge.
If You’re Missing 3 or More Teeth
What if you need to replace more than two teeth in a row? You can still get a dental bridge, but you’ll want one that’s designed to fit on dental implants. Instead of the ends bonding over natural teeth, a pair of implants can be installed at either end. That way it’s both predictable and safe to have a multi-tooth bridge anchored for a longer space. Implant bridges can easily replace 3-4 teeth at a time!
If you’re missing four or more teeth, you might be a better candidate for something like a more complex dental implant restoration or removable partial denture. Dr. Behbahani can review the advantages of each one as it fits your unique situation.
If There are Healthy Teeth to Support a Bridge
Unless you’re getting a dental implant supported bridge, most bridges are anchored on top of healthy teeth. And as you might suspect, those teeth need to be stable enough to support a bridge for the long term. It’s crucial that they’re not affected by gum disease or extensive decay. Otherwise, you run the risk of compromising the overall success of your new restoration.
As long as your teeth are fairly sound, a bridge can set on top of them. Some of the best supporting bridge teeth already have dental work or large fillings. Since either end of a bridge also acts as a crown, they can provide additional protection and reinforcement for the teeth they set on top of.
Missing Tooth Treatment in Phoenix
Whether you need a dental bridge or other missing tooth treatment, Dr. Behbahani is here to provide you with a professional opinion and guidance through the process. Call Central Valley Dentistry today to reserve your next appointment with our Phoenix dentist!