Dental Bridges: An Effective Solution for Missing Teeth
A dental bridge is made of several crowns fused together and is designed to fill a gap in your smile left by one or two missing teeth. Dr. Craig Hine and his team provide patients with custom-made dental bridges at their Bixby, OK, practice. These restorations can look lifelike, and natural next to your other teeth while they restore function to your smile.
Candidates for Dental Bridges
Patients who are missing one tooth or two consecutive teeth can typically receive a dental bridge to restore their oral function. If you are missing a larger number of teeth, we may recommend other restorative solutions, such as a partial denture. To qualify for a traditional dental bridge, your surrounding natural teeth must be strong enough to support the restoration. You must also have good periodontal health. Implant-supported bridges require a sufficient amount of jawbone tissue to support the implant posts. If you are lacking sufficient jawbone tissue, we may recommend a bone graft to improve your eligibility for dental implants.
Benefits of Dental Bridges
A dental bridge offers a variety of functional and aesthetic benefits. Missing teeth can affect your alignment, which can lead to conditions that affect your bite and jaw alignment, such as temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. Gaps of missing teeth can also affect your speaking ability and how you chew. By replacing these teeth, we can reduce your risk of TMJ disorder, periodontal disease, tooth decay, and bone loss, while improving your ability to speak properly. Both traditional and implant-supported bridges offer a great deal of comfort and stability to prevent your remaining teeth from shifting.
By filling the gaps in your smile, we can also provide support to your facial structures, which prevents the appearance of sunken, sagging, and drooping facial tissues. With a natural-looking, lifelike restoration, you can smile with confidence, knowing your bridge is virtually indistinguishable from the rest of your smile.
During a consultation with Dr. Hine, he will discuss your goals with you and carefully examine your teeth and gums to determine your candidacy for either a traditional or implant-supported bridge. Together, you will choose the type of material you would like to use for your bridge. While metal options such as gold and silver are available, most patients prefer porcelain or zirconia options, which we can match to the shade of your surrounding teeth for a natural look.
The Treatment Process
If you will receive a traditional bridge, Dr. Hine will prepare your surrounding teeth by resizing and reshaping them to accommodate the crowns of the bridge. We will then take highly accurate impressions of your teeth and gums. These impressions are used to design and create your bridge. Dr. Hine can place a temporary restoration to protect your altered teeth because it can take up to two weeks for the dental lab to create your permanent bridge.
Dr. Hine will check to ensure your bite is properly aligned and that your dental bridge feels comfortable and looks natural.
Once we receive your bridge, you will return to our office for Dr. Hine to attach it to your teeth. Using durable, safe materials, he will affix the bridge and the attached crowns to your surrounding teeth. He will check to ensure your bite is properly aligned and that your bridge feels comfortable and looks natural.
If you opt for an implant-supported bridge, you will need to have dental implants surgically placed in your jaw. It can take three to six months to heal after your surgery. Once healed, your permanent bridge is affixed to the implants with abutment pieces.
Complete Your Smile
If you are missing one or two teeth, a dental bridge may be right for you. Contact Hine Dental today to schedule a consultation.
“Keeping the beat of dentistry alive for nearly 100 years.” Dr. Craig Hine