Missing teeth do more than keep you from having a beautiful smile. In addition to altering your appearance and impacting your self esteem, they can affect your day-to-day life, changing how your other teeth function, how your jaws line up, and the shape and integrity of your facial structure. Without replacing missing teeth, you may be at greater risk for infection, gum disease, and misalignment due to dental shifting. You may even notice you can’t speak or chew properly anymore.
Monarch Dental offers dental bridges as part of our comprehensive restorative and preventative dental services. It doesn’t matter how many teeth you’re missing or why you’ve lost them, Monarch Dental is here to help restore a full, healthy, and beautiful smile.
Dental bridges are custom-made dental prosthetics that “bridge” the space created by missing teeth or teeth that haven’t erupted yet. Bridges consist of one or more crowns (or artificial teeth) and are permanently anchored with dental cement or bonding to the natural teeth on either side of the gap. Bridges can be designed to replace several teeth or just one, helping to recreate the natural appearance and function of a healthy smile.
There are myriad reasons why people lose teeth–including as the result of injury, gum disease, oral cancer, severe tooth decay, or extraction–and more than 120 million people in the U.S. alone are missing at least one tooth. Not properly addressing missing teeth can put you at a higher risk for gum disease, tooth decay, infection, speech issues, and even bone loss.
Replacing missing teeth is important for maintaining a lifetime of good oral health, so while you may feel embarrassed about missing teeth, you should not be ashamed and you should not avoid treatment. There are many instances where a dental bridge is the ideal solution for tooth replacement, providing an alternative to implants or dentures.
At Monarch Dental, we believe everyone deserves a beautiful, healthy smile. Our dentists are highly trained and experienced in restoring smiles with dental bridges, and no matter the extent of your tooth loss or what has caused it, you’ll receive the compassionate, professional, and respectful care you deserve.
There are several different kinds of dental bridges, and the best type for you will depend on where they will be placed in your mouth, your budget, and your personal preference.
Dental bridges are typically classified by the type of materials used to make them–porcelain, porcelain and metal, and all-metal–and how they are attached to neighboring teeth. Each dental bridge material-type has its pros and cons, and each fit is specific to the location of your missing tooth or teeth.
Porcelain dental bridges are made completely from tooth-colored porcelain.
Combined porcelain and metal dental bridges are made from metal that has been covered in porcelain.
All-metal dental bridges are made entirely from metal.
There are 3 main types of bridges according to where they are placed in the mouth and how they are attached to neighboring teeth or crowns:
A variety of factors will determine how much a dental bridge will cost, including the type of material, placement requirements, how many teeth are being replaced, and if you require any additional procedures to prepare your mouth or natural teeth for the bridge.
All-porcelain bridges will generally cost more than metal or porcelain-metal bridges, while a cantilever bridge with its unique placement needs will also be slightly higher than other types.
However, many dental insurance plans will cover at least some–if not all–of the cost of a dental bridge, and Monarch Dental accepts most major carriers as well as CareCredit. If you don’t have insurance, you can take advantage of our OneSmile Dental plan, which offers members discounts on all dental services for one low annual fee, or our flexible financing and payment options.
Step 1: The doctor will prepare the natural teeth on either side of the gap. With traditional and cantilever bridges, these teeth may be filed and reshaped in preparation for a crown to be fitted over them. For Maryland bridges, the natural teeth will be thoroughly cleaned.
Step 2: Once the teeth are prepared, the dentist will take an impression of your teeth and send it to a lab, where your custom bridge and crowns will be created.
Step 3: You’ll receive temporary crowns, if needed for your type of bridge, to protect the filed teeth and minimize sensitivity until you receive the permanent bridge at your next visit.
Step 1: If you have temporary crowns, they are removed and new ones placed. Natural teeth may be inspected and cleaned again.
Step 2: Your new custom bridge is fitted and cemented or bonded to your crowns or your natural teeth.
Step 3: In some cases, your dentist may use a temporary cement or bonding, allowing you to “test” the new bridge and ensure it fits comfortably and needs no adjusting.
If your dentist used a temporary cement or bond, you will have another appointment to assess how the bridge is working. If there are no issues, the bridge will be permanently placed. If there has been some discomfort, you should let your dentist know so further adjustments can be made. Then, you may have another few weeks to test your dental bridge again before it is permanently placed.
With proper care, a dental bridge can last 15 years or more, looking, feeling, and functioning just like natural teeth, so it is important to take certain precautions right after, and in the years following, the placement of your dental bridge.
In the days right after your bridge placement, you may experience mild to moderate sensitivity around the bridge, especially in the tooth or teeth attached to it. This is usually due to nerves being activated during the procedure from filing and crowns, and should subside.
If you have been living with missing teeth for a long time, you may find chewing and speaking difficult, awkward, or uncomfortable at first, but your mouth and jaws will adapt with practice and over time.
Although having a bridge doesn’t necessarily restrict your diet, you should be careful with very chewy or crunchy foods. These can strain the bridge or cause displacement.
The replacement teeth in your bridge will require the same care as your natural teeth, including brushing them twice a day for at least two minutes, flossing between the bridge and gums to remove bacteria and prevent gum disease, using antiseptic mouthwash to kill germs in the tissues around your bridge, and two dental check-ups a year.
You deserve a beautiful, healthy smile you can show the world, and Monarch Dental is committed to helping you achieve it. With affordable financing options, flexible scheduling, and multiple convenient locations, we make it easy for you to get the care you need at a price that fits your budget. We accept most major dental insurances as well as Care Credit, and we offer our own OneSmile Dental plan for discounts on all dental services.
Find out if dental bridges are right for you. Contact the Monarch Dental office nearest you and schedule an appointment today!