Do you have one or more missing teeth? Are you looking for an effective way to restore your lost permanent teeth? Dental bridges can help. A dental bridge replaces consecutive missing teeth with a natural-looking dental restoration. Typically, dental bridges consist of porcelain and metal or ceramic with wings bonded to adjacent teeth. However, we recommend implant-secured bridges for a longer-lasting restoration. Learn about your options for dental bridge treatment at Smiles by Mia in Burke, VA.
Traditional vs. Implant-Secured Bridges
We offer both types of dental bridges in our office. We thoroughly consult with you and do diagnostic testing to determine the best option for you.
Traditional Dental Bridges
A traditional dental bridge needs support from natural teeth adjacent to a tooth gap. Dentists prepare these teeth and cap them off with dental crowns to keep the bridge in place. However, traditional bridges can damage healthy teeth, and the restoration lies on top of the gums. Although fixed, these dental bridges do not stimulate the bone or gum tissue. Because your jawbone will continue to deteriorate and change, you’ll need to get the bridge readjusted or replaced throughout your lifespan.
There are consequences if you have a bridge that no longer fits properly. An ill-fitting bridge causes pain and discomfort, particularly when you’re trying to use your bridge. A bridge that doesn’t fit is also more prone to damage. If the bridge doesn’t properly align with existing teeth, it can take on excessive force from chewing and biting. This can also contribute to bite problems with more severe consequences.
The benefits of traditional bridges include being cost-effective, less invasive, and a quicker turnaround time. Because they require a surgical procedure, dental implant-supported bridges are usually more expensive. It takes longer to get your final restoration because implant posts require time to fuse with the jawbone before we can place it. Traditional bridges just require you to wait briefly while your custom restoration is being crafted.
Implant-Secured Dental Bridges
Implant-secured bridges offer a modern alternative to traditional dental bridges. Dental implants are small titanium posts an oral surgeon places in the jaw bone beneath the gum tissue. After implants heal, they create a strong foundation for restorations like bridges. The implant posts fuse with the jawbone, giving them an unmatched stability for restorations. We recommend an implant-supported bridge whenever patients are eligible.
Implants come with many other benefits. They promote jawbone regeneration and prevent the jawbone from deteriorating further. You won’t need to readjust your restoration because the state of your jawbone won’t change further. Though they’re expensive upfront, you don’t incur surprise costs in the future. With their strength, you can confidently eat any food that you want. There are no restrictions because your restoration can handle them. They’re designed to be a lifetime restoration.
Dental Bridges in Burke, VA
Before treatment, we ensure that patients have enough healthy bone tissue if they choose implant-secured bridges. Dental implants fuse to the jaw bone underneath the gums, so patients need a healthy bone structure. We will recommend bone grafting as needed to prepare patients for treatment. Then, we take dental impressions of their smiles. We send these impressions to a dental lab that creates the dental bridge.
During implant treatment, an oral surgeon makes an incision in the gums to access the bone tissue. Then, they create a hole in the jaw bone tissue to place the dental implants. Over three to six months, the metal implants fuse with the jaw bone tissue. We will offer a temporary restoration for patients during this period. Once the implants heal and the final bridge is complete, we attach the dental bridge to the dental implants.
Our dentists will give patients post-op instructions to ensure they properly care for their dental bridges. Patients can gently brush and floss between their restoration with a water pick or interdental floss. Once they fully heal, patients can eat the foods they love.
Caring for Your Dental Bridge
It’s essential that you properly care for your bridge to ensure it stays in good, functional condition. Brushing and flossing remain important. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste so you don’t scratch the restoration. You’ll need to floss around the bridge, ensuring no food particles get stuck underneath it. We’ll teach you how to do this and recommend tools to make it easier. A Waterpik is a great tool to clean around the bridge effectively.
A keen eye and regular dental visits ensure that any damage to your bridge gets treatment as soon as possible. Our dental specialists and diagnostic tools can see damage or wear in places that aren’t visible to the naked eye. You know how your bridge typically feels in your mouth. If you notice differences or experience pain and discomfort, call our office and make an appointment.
While you can eat a balanced diet with implant-supported bridges, avoiding biting down on certain foods with the bridge minimizes the risk of damage. Popcorn kernels and hard candy are two of the biggest culprits. Habits like biting your nails, chewing ice, or using your teeth to open packages can all damage your restoration, too.
Restore Your Smile
Do you have multiple missing teeth? Schedule a dental appointment with us on our website. Call (571) 789-1265 if you have questions about dental bridge treatment. We are always happy to help our patients.