The word bridge has multiple definitions.
It can be a passage that allows someone to cross a chasm or river. It can be a part of a musical instrument.
From a philosophical perspective, it can be a transitional route between activities or conditions. We like that definition, and in a way, it also applies to a dental bridge, which is a replacement for a missing tooth or lost teeth.
At the office of Dr. Fred Thompson, D.D.S., we have seen how getting a dental bridge has helped many patients. We’ll explain more in a bit, but we also will spend some time explaining the different kinds of dental bridges you can receive.
Our dentists in Richardson, TX, would be happy to help you find out if a dental bridge could help you.
Benefits Of A Dental Bridge
We can’t mention specific patients but we can tell you, generally, about the ways that dental bridges have helped many people.
We have seen patients enter our office who were ashamed and embarrassed by their smiles. Some of them lost their teeth as a result of neglecting their oral care.
Some didn’t brush and floss as well as they should have. Others avoided going to the dentist for routine visits for years at a time, visits that could have identified problems and led to treatments that could have saved their teeth.
Other people lost their teeth in unfortunate incidents. Accidents and traumatic impacts to their faces or jaws knocked some of their teeth loose or completely out.
Now, they have trouble eating. Foods they used to enjoy have become too difficult to eat.
We also have seen how their outlooks have changed when they received a dental bridge. They left our office smiling bigger than they had in months or years. They were no longer ashamed of their teeth, and once again, they could eat their favorite foods.
In a real sense, dental bridges serve as a transitional tool from sadness to happiness for many people.
Types Of Dental Bridges
Today, you have choices about the kinds of dental bridge you will receive. We will talk about the two most common types below.
◆ Implant-supported bridge
This is the most stable and sturdy type of dental bridge. For someone who has lost multiple teeth, this is a great option to replace them.
This type of bridge spans the gap in your smile, but it also fills in the hole in your jaw as well. Many times, people focus on the cosmetic benefit of a bridge before considering everything that is missing when you lose a tooth.
The roots of your tooth have a close relationship with your jaw. The roots spur the jaw to grow new tissue. In turn, this keeps the jaw strong and capable of holding the roots of your teeth in place.
By replacing your lost roots with dental implants, you encourage your jaw to remain strong. This will make your implants more secure, and that will provide a firm foundation for your dental bridge.
With an implant-supported bridge, you can feel confident that your bridge will remain in place for decades to come with proper care.
◆ Traditional bridge
A traditional bridge replaces the missing crowns of your natural teeth. Without implants under it, this bridge needs to be supported in another way.
This support comes from the healthy teeth on either side of the missing ones. Those teeth are reshaped in the same way that we reshape a tooth that is broken or decayed for a dental crown.
The abutment teeth are reshaped so the abutment crowns, which are located on either end of the dental bridge, can be bonded to those teeth. This also provides support for the pontics, which are the dental crowns in the middle of the bridge.
For a three-crown bridge, which would replace a single missing tooth, two teeth are essentially providing the bite force for three teeth.
As the bridge gets bigger, you can see that this would put added stress on the abutment crowns. With a five-crown bridge (to replace three missing teeth), two teeth would be providing the support for five teeth. This is one of the reasons we recommend implant-supported bridges when possible.
Let Us Help You Build Your Bridge
If you have lost teeth, you don’t have to accept it. You can restore your smile and the full function of your teeth.
To learn more, schedule a consultation with one of our dentists in Richardson, TX. Call 972-619-5592 or fill out an online form to make an appointment at the office of Dr. Fred Thompson, D.D.S.