Choosing the right option to replace missing teeth is important if you want to enjoy results that are comfortable, secure, and support long-term dental health. Dr. Jason Baldwin can place a dental bridge that is custom made to match your natural teeth and fit comfortably within your smile. A dental bridge can be a great alternative for those who have insufficient bone for a dental implant or need a more immediate solution for missing teeth.
What Is A Dental Bridge?
Designed for replacing one or more consecutive teeth, a dental bridge literally “bridges the gap” between two remaining teeth. There are two basic types of dental bridges:
- Removable Dental Bridges: a removable dental bridge will attach to either two natural teeth or dental implants and can be removed for daily cleaning. This type of bridge is typically considered a short-term fix and does not offer long-term dental health benefits.
- Fixed Dental Bridges: a fixed dental bridge is the recommended option for most patients. It is permanently attached using dental implants or natural teeth that are strengthened by a dental crown for a secure, lasting result.
Dental Bridge vs Implants: What to Consider
During a consultation, Dr. Baldwin will discuss the most suitable replacement options for you, but there are several important factors taken into consideration as part of your treatment planning:
- Health and bone structure: The health and stability of your jaw bone structure can play a role in your candidacy for dental implants. In some cases, bone grafting procedures can be completed if additional support is needed. If you are not a candidate for dental implants, a traditional dental bridge may be the best solution.
- Cost: While the cost of a dental bridge may be more affordable in the short term than a dental implant, implants typically provide a better long-term solution and are less likely to need repair or replacement in the future.
- Stable restoration: Dental implants are the closest thing to a natural tooth. The dental implant is anchored to the bone, allowing the patient to eat whatever they want, brush and floss normally, and have unaffected speech. While the dental bridge itself is extremely durable, the concern is for the health of neighboring teeth. If one of the anchor teeth fails or needs dental work, it compromises the entire dental bridge.
- Procedure and recovery: The total time it takes to receive an implant-supported bridge is about four to eight months. Dental implant surgery is a relatively comfortable and quick procedure. There will be a 3-6 month recovery period before the final restoration is completed in order to allow for sufficient healing and integration of the post. A dental bridge can be placed in about two to three weeks, though.
Dental Bridge FAQs
When should I replace my removable dental bridge?
The sooner you replace your removable dental bridge with a permanent solution, the better for your long-term oral health. A removable bridge is a great option for patients that can’t get a permanent tooth replacement option, but should not be used as a final solution. Most dentists will recommend a permanent option because a removable bridge does not support your jawbone and neighboring teeth. Without a fixed solution, your teeth can shift, your jawbone degrades quicker over time, and facial sagging is more prevalent.
How do you clean a fixed dental bridge?
Cleaning a dental bridge is the same as brushing your teeth. The most important thing to remember when cleaning around your fixed dental bridge is to floss under the bridge. It is very important to floss daily under the bridge because food that gets stuck under the bridge can harbor bacteria that cause damage to your gums.
What can’t you eat with a dental bridge?
Dentists recommend staying away from chewy foods, and extra had foods. Chewy food can get stuck in your bridge and become very hard to remove. This can lead to bad breath and gum disease. Hard foods can damage, break, and bend your bridge. This can cause your bridge to become loose and create unnecessary pain.
Schedule a Consultation
Replacing lost and missing teeth is important for both dental health and overall physical well-being. To learn more about how a dental bridge could be the solution to your dental problems, schedule a consultation with Dr. Baldwin in Truckee, CA. Call our office at (530) 206-0392 or use our online request form and we will contact you shortly. We look forward to helping you restore a beautiful, healthy smile.