Dental Bridges: An Overview
A dental bridge is a good option to replace several missing teeth. As your trusted restorative dentist in Laurel, MD, our doctors are happy to provide you with this service to restore and renew your smile. Dental bridges use your remaining teeth to support a bridge. They will hold a prosthetic tooth in the place of your missing tooth. Often, your dentist will cap the surrounding teeth with dental crowns to provide more support.
Dental bridges allow you to regain the function and look of your smile. Additionally, replacing a missing tooth assists in retaining your bite pattern, which directly impacts your chewing and speaking. A missing tooth can cause several issues if not replaced promptly. If you are interested in our tooth replacement options in Laurel, schedule an appointment with our team today.
Dental Bridges in Laurel, MD
Traditional Vs. Implant-Supported Bridges
Traditional bridges utilize your natural teeth to support them. Your dentist will need to prepare anchor teeth on each side of the missing tooth or teeth to make room for the bridge. Often, we use dental crowns to help strengthen those teeth. A crown takes on the bulk of the weight and pressure from the bridge instead of harming your natural teeth. Natural teeth can break down faster and be more susceptible to tooth decay and other problems if they’re supporting a traditional bridge without fortification. Traditional bridges can be removable or fixed.
Implant-supported bridges use dental implants instead of natural teeth to support the bridge. This type of bridge is always fixed, but it’s also a permanent solution. You will need to readjust or replace a traditional bridges as the jawbone continues to deteriorate. Dental implants stop the jawbone from continuing to deteriorate. With implants involved, there’s no need to readjust or replace the restoration. It’s in your mouth permanently.
It does take longer to get an implant-supported bridge. The implant procedure is first, and the implants must heal surgically before proceeding. The dentist places a temporary restoration to assist you until the final restoration is ready. In all types of bridges, we match the color, shape, and size of the artificial teeth so that the restoration fits in seamlessly with your smile.
Dental Bridge FAQs
How long do dental bridges last?
Dental bridges can last between five and fifteen years, sometimes longer. The longevity of your dental bridge depends largely on your oral hygiene practices. If you take good care of your dental bridge and see your dentist regularly, a dental bridge can last a very long time.
How much does a dental bridge cost?
The cost of a dental bridge will depend on the number of missing teeth you have and their location. Many types of bridges are also available that use different attachment methods and materials. All of these various factors will determine the cost. Most dental insurance plans will cover at least some of the cost, but this will ultimately depend on your coverage. Our Laurel, MD dentist office accepts and works with many dental insurance plans. Our staff will handle all necessary billing and paperwork. Additionally, we offer third-party financing through Care Credit for patients concerned about cost.
What’s the difference between dental bridges and dental implants?
Both dental bridges and dental implants are restorative dentistry options and are excellent methods of replacing your missing tooth. Dental implants involve the surgical fusion of a titanium post into your jawbone to restore a fully functional prosthetic tooth. A dental bridge is not surgically implanted but a prosthetic that sits in the space and is supported by your surrounding teeth. The Laurel Smiles Dental Care team is happy to review both options with you to help determine which will work best for your smile.
How do I clean my dental bridge?
Good brushing and flossing habits will keep your dental bridge in good condition. You must brush it regularly with a soft bristle toothbrush and a fluoride based toothpaste. It is also important to floss around the dental bridge to remove any food. We suggest using floss threaders or dental brushes to clean between the bridge and the adjacent teeth and under the pontics. This will ensure a proper and thorough cleaning and help to maintain good oral hygiene.
Can dental bridges cause speech issues?
A dental bridge does not typically cause speech problems. However, when you first have it placed, you may have some minor speech issues while you adjust to having it in your mouth. These adjustments usually resolve as you become accustomed to the dental bridge. If your bridge does not fit correctly and your speech issues do not seem to get better, please schedule a visit to your dentist.
Is the dental bridge procedure painful?
Getting a dental is not a painful procedure. Your dentist will use local anesthesia to numb the area. This will ensure that you do not feel any pain during treatment. When preparing your tooth, you may experience some pressure, pushing, or pulling. After the appointment when the anesthetic wears off, you will experience some discomfort. However, in most cases, this can be easily managed with over-the-counter pain relievers.
Can I get a dental bridge if I have gum disease or other dental issues?
It is important to perform any dental restoration on a healthy oral foundation. This will ensure the success of the treatment. It should be always be a priority to treat gum disease and control the disease before a dental bridge is put in place. If the abutment tooth has decay, it will have to be treated before placing the bridge. Otherwise, the tooth will continue to rot and the success of the restoration is in jeopardy. Before placing type of dental restoration, your dentist will assess your oral health and develop a complete treatment plan that will address all your issues.
What should I do if a dental bridge becomes loose or damaged?
The first thing you should do is contact your dentist. We will try to get you in as soon as possible. Do not attempt to take the dental bridge out to loosen it further. This can lead to further damage or decay. Do not chew on the tooth if possible. Avoid hard object and maintain a soft diet until seen. The key is to be seen by your dentist as soon as possible and to minimize the damage. Your dentist will assess the damage and come up with a solution. This may involve re-cementing the bridge, repairing it, or replacing it.