Do you have multiple missing teeth? Schedule a consultation to discuss the benefits of dental bridges at Katy Smile Design in Katy, TX. Dental bridges are dental restorations that may be fixed or removable. Dental bridges for missing teeth can help retain the bite and make it easier for patients to eat and speak normally. Due to their important oral health and lifestyle benefits, we often recommend fixed dental bridges supported by dental implants over removable bridges.
Learn about the differences between removable and fixed bridges and the answers to common questions about dental bridges below.
Traditional Dental Bridges
A traditional dental bridge can be either removable or fixed. They replace one missing tooth or multiple consecutive missing teeth. Your natural teeth on either side of the bridge support it to keep it in your mouth. Typically, this solution is the quickest form of a dental bridge. However, they can’t handle all of the foods that you may want to eat. They’re more prone to being broken and can’t handle the pressure that an implant-supported bridge would be able to.
For a removable bridge, you can take the bridge out at the end of the day to clean it properly. If your bridge is fixed, it remains in your mouth, and you don’t take it out. Brush your teeth as you would naturally. Your dentist will teach you the proper way to floss around your new restoration. You want to avoid buildup in the places that your dental bridge is covering. The dentist may also give you specific tools to use to clean your bridge properly.
Usually, we recommend placing dental crowns on the teeth that are going to be supporting your bridge. Anchor teeth take on more wear and tear and are more likely to damage or develop tooth decay. A dental crown can take on the pressure of the restoration instead of your natural teeth having to support the bulk of it.
Implant-Supported Dental Bridges
Instead of your natural teeth being the anchors, an implant-supported dental bridge uses two dental implants. You avoid needing to prepare your natural tooth for a crown or putting pressure on your natural teeth. Dental implants are a permanent restoration; you can count on an implant-supported dental bridge to last the long haul. You get back 100% of your bite function, so you don’t have to worry about eliminating any foods from your diet.
With an implant-supported bridge, you get all the benefits of implants. Since implant posts replace the tooth root, your jawbone ceases deteriorating, and jawbone regeneration is prompted. The implant posts fuse with your jawbone, giving you more stability. While this solution does take longer, it’s worth it for the extra benefits. The same is true with the price. You won’t need to make adjustments or replace the bridge in the future because the shape of your jawbone won’t change.
The Dental Bridge Process
The bridge process depends on if you’re getting a traditional or implant-supported bridge. For a traditional bridge, we’ll take impressions of the mouth so that the bridge can be custom-made to fit your smile. If we’re placing crowns, your teeth will be prepared and placed before the impressions. The bridge matches the size, shape, and color of the rest of your smile so that it blends in and looks natural. We cement the bridge in your mouth if it’s a fixed bridge.
For an implant-supported bridge, dental implant surgery has to be done first. We’ll place titanium implant posts in your jawbone. These require 3-6 months to heal properly. A temporary restoration is given to you for this time. After this, we’ll take impressions to create your permanent bridge. Once this is made, it’s permanently installed in your mouth.
Dental Bridge FAQs
Learn more about dental bridges below:
What do I do if I have a broken dental bridge?
If you have just broken your dental bridge, do not try to repair or wear it, as this can damage the gums or surrounding teeth. Contact our dental office as soon as possible for emergency dental care, and we will advise on how to address the issue at home and when to come in.
Can you sleep with a dental bridge in?
Patients with temporary removable dental bridges need to remove their restoration before bed. This is because removable bridges can put some strain on jaw muscles. Fixed bridges supported by dental implants cannot be removed, but they support the teeth and gums just like natural teeth.
Schedule a Dental Appointment
Are you in need of a new dental restoration? Do you want to know more about your dental bridge options? Contact Dr. Wilder and Dr. Shepard in their Katy dental office at 281.843.9814. You may also request a dental appointment on our website.