Implant and Family Dentistry provides highly realistic restorations to replace missing teeth and restore dental function. If you are missing between one and three teeth, you will likely benefit from our advanced dental bridges. At our Memphis, TN, practice, we provide both traditional and implant-supported restorations. The right type for you will depend on your oral health, budget, and goals for treatment. Implant and Family Dentistry has significant experience with both kinds of bridges, and we also also work with a top-quality lab for their fabrication. There, the technicians will use detail-oriented techniques and advanced zirconia to provide highly lifelike results.
A bridge may be used to replace a single tooth. A bridge consists of both a false tooth, called a pontic and the anchors (abutment crowns) that support the pontic. The entire structure spans the space vacated by the missing tooth.
Neighboring tooth structure is removed, shaping them to receive an anchor crown. An impression is then taken and sent to a dental lab where they fabricate the bridge.
The structure part of the bridge is created with a strong metal alloy that can handle the anticipated stresses.
Tooth-like porcelain is then fused to the structure. Once the bridge is tested for a correct fit, the anchor crowns are cemented to the neighboring teeth.
Are You a Candidate For A Dental Bridge?
Although you are likely a candidate for a dental bridge if you are missing one to three teeth in a row, a partial denture is probably more appropriate if you have more widespread tooth loss. Implant and Family Dentistry will evaluate your oral health, as well as your budget, to determine the most suitable type of bridge. A traditional bridge will be secured by crowns placed over the nearby natural teeth. Therefore, those teeth must be strong enough to support the restoration.
For an implant-supported bridge, it is vital that you have a sufficient amount of jawbone tissue. If you have suffered jaw recession, the implant posts may not have enough support for lasting results. Dr. Hacker will use x-rays and computed tomography (CT) scans to determine your candidacy for implants. In some cases, he may recommend a bone graft to improve your eligibility.
Placing Your Restoration
If you select a traditional bridge, we will first reshape the teeth that will support the restoration. He will numb your teeth and use conservative reshaping methods, so the process should involve negligible discomfort. This step will provide a foundation and make more room for the bridge so that it can rest securely against your teeth. Then we will take impressions, and our lab will use these molds to design your restoration. The technicians will use state-of-the-art zirconia to craft a bridge that is a near-perfect match to your smile. When it is complete, our team will use dental cement to attach the restoration to your teeth.
Our lab technicians will use detail-oriented techniques and advanced zirconia to provide highly lifelike results.
When you choose an implant-supported bridge, Implant and Family Dentistry will perform a minor oral surgery. Using x-rays and scans of your jaw, he will choose precise positions for your dental implants. Then he will insert the posts in your jaw through tiny incisions in your gums. Prior to your surgery, he will numb your soft tissue and jawbone, and he can also provide deeper sedation so you should experience very little discomfort during your treatment. In most cases, we will use two implant posts to uphold a dental bridge. After your surgery, you will need to wait four to six months for your jaw to heal. During the healing process, we will provide a temporary restoration. Our team will attach the permanent bridge as soon as your implants have properly fused with your jawbone.
The Benefits of a Dental Bridge
Dental bridges have numerous aesthetic and practical benefits. Perhaps most obviously, the restoration will complete your smile to improve your overall appearance. It can also fill out your lips and cheeks, giving you an overall younger look. Additionally, your bridge will renew your oral function. Once it is in place, you should be able to eat a wide range of foods with very few dietary restrictions, if any.
Your bridge will also enhance your long-term oral health. Both traditional and implant-supported bridges will keep your other teeth from shifting out of alignment, which can reduce your risk for severe orthodontic issues, as well as temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder and bruxism. Plus, when you receive an implant-supported bridge, the implant posts can stop jaw recession and prevent further tooth loss.