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Dental Bridges

Are you missing one tooth or several teeth and not sure what’s the best option to replace them? You’re right to wonder.

While all dental bridges can restore your smile, not all bridges are the best fit for every situation. We can offer guidance.

To bring back the beauty and function of your smile, let Robert Hawke, DDS, in Tucson, AZ, point you in the right direction.
 

Are You Ready to Replace Missing Teeth?

If you are missing teeth, no one needs to tell you how difficult the simple pleasures of smiling and eating are. Fortunately, dental bridges can create a beautiful, natural-looking smile and restore function to your mouth, allowing you to enjoy life again.

Dr. Hawke has remained at the forefront of dental innovations since opening his practice in 1976. He and his team at our Tucson practice will work closely with you to determine the best type of dental bridge for your situation and restore your dental health. 

Types of Dental Bridges

Dental bridge

Traditional Dental Bridge

Traditional bridges have been used for decades and are a simple, quick fix for missing teeth. The dental bridge is composed of one or more prosthetic teeth, called pontics, which are supported by a dental crown on either side. The dental crowns attach to your natural teeth. While reliable, traditional bridges have shortcomings. First, healthy teeth need to be reshaped to hold the crowns. In addition, there is a limit to how many teeth a traditional bridge can replace. If you are replacing several teeth, an implant-supported bridge offers more stability and reliability. 

Implant bridge

Implant-Supported Bridge

Implant-supported bridges don't require altering nearby abutment teeth for support. Instead, these advanced bridges rely on small titanium posts, called dental implants, that are embedded in the jaw and are essentially prosthetic tooth roots. Once the dental implants fuse with the bone, they are secure enough to support even dentures. Implant-supported bridges can replace a long stretch of missing teeth. They are also ideal for patients who lack a supporting tooth on one side and rely on outdated cantilever bridges, which are prone to failure. 

"So Glad I Found This Practice" 5-Star Reviews

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Cheryl Alter

2020

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Both the dentist and hygienist are excellent at what they do! That’s paramount for me. As well, all the staff is friendly, respectful of my time, and professional. The specific issue that brought me to this office is getting resolved. So glad I found this practice!

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Mary Stout

2021

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Dr. Hawke has been our family dentist for the past 30 some years.  He is technologically current, very knowledgeable, a great problem-solver, and his support staff is second to none.

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The Traditional Bridge Procedure

A traditional dental bridge is anchored using dental crowns placed on the teeth on either side of the gap in your smile. One or more natural-looking prosthetic teeth, called pontics, are crafted to stand in for the missing teeth. 

Not Sure If a Dental Bridge Is Right for You?

We understand that dental issues can be overwhelming, and we want you to be completely comfortable with your treatment. We are more than happy to answer any questions you may have. Call us at our Tucson, AZ, office or leave us a message.

(520) 323-3842

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Dr. Hawke pairs advanced technology and heartfelt compassion for each patient that comes to his Tucson practice.

Frequently Asked Question

How many teeth can a bridge replace?

A traditional dental bridge can provide support for up to four missing teeth. If you have more than four teeth missing in a row, an implant-supported bridge would likely be a better option. If you are missing several teeth, a partial denture or full denture could be considered.

Why choose an implant-supported bridge over a traditional bridge? 

Implant-supported bridges are supported by the implants, not nearby teeth. With a traditional bridge where teeth are used for support, a considerable amount of tooth structure is removed so the crowns holding the bridge can be attached. This can put the altered teeth at greater risk of decay in the future. In contrast, implants stand on their own and stimulate rejuvenating bone growth in the jaw.

I've been told I need a root canal. Can I get a bridge afterward?

A dental bridge replaces a tooth that is already missing, whereas a root canal attempts to save a tooth that is still there. If you require a root canal on an anchoring tooth, a bridge may not be the right treatment for you, as anchoring teeth need to be strong. Dr. Hawke can assess your teeth to determine if they can support a bridge.

"Amazingly friendly and competent staff. I have had bridges fitted before but never so well, I am absolutely not aware I have one. Perfect fitting and perfect color. I would highly recommend Dr Hawke to anyone." Isabelle Holden

Traditional Dental Bridge Treatment A Fast, Affordable Option

Dental treatment for a traditional bridge at our Tucson, AZ, practice is fairly straightforward and can be completed in just a couple of weeks. To begin, Dr. Hawke simply reshapes abutment teeth to prepare them for the dental crowns holding the pontic tooth or teeth. One caveat: The supporting teeth shouldering the load need to be strong, which means teeth that have been treated with a root canal or have been weakened by large cavities are probably ineligible. Your dentist will determine if the supporting teeth are strong enough for a traditional dental bridge.

After shaping the abutment teeth, Dr. Hawke will create an impression of the treatment area to guide the design of your bridge. Depending on your needs, we may create your custom bridge immediately using our CEREC technology or have our trusted dental lab create it, which takes about two to three days. We will provide a temporary bridge to wear until your bridge is completed. When your permanent bridge is ready to be attached, the dentist will check to ensure the fit is comfortable and that it seamlessly blends in with your natural teeth.

Implant-Supported Bridge Treatment The Long-Lasting Solution

The timeline for an implant-supported bridge is more involved, but as they say, good things take time. In general, your treatment will be similar to this timeline. However, if you need preparatory dental treatment such as bone grafts or treatment for gum disease, these steps occur before the implant surgery. The area must also be allowed ample time to heal.

We handle every aspect of implant dentistry at our Tucson, AZ, office.
We handle every aspect of implant dentistry at our Tucson, AZ, office.

Treatment Planning

Using a cone-beam scanner, the dentist will assess the bone density in your jaw and determine the optimum position for the implants. We also use state-of-the-art CEREC technology to craft your restoration in-house, meaning a much faster turnaround time to create the bridge.

Implant Surgery 

The treatment area will be numbed and, if you choose, you can undergo sedation dentistry to more fully relax during treatment. Once you are comfortable, the dentist will create a small incision in the gums and place the implants. You may receive a temporary dental bridge to wear until the implants are ready to support your final restoration.

Healing

For the next three to six months, the dental implants will be left undisturbed so that bone can grow securely around the posts. Healing time varies by patient, but it is important to allow the area to heal to ensure that the dental crown and pontics have strong anchors to support them.

Abutment Placement

Once the dentist has determined that the implants and bone have fused and healed, the gums will be opened so a connector piece can be attached to each implant. We will then wait two weeks for the gums to heal around the abutments. 

Bridge Placement

The final step is to check the bridge to see that it fits comfortably and then attach it to the implants. All that's left is for you to start sharing your beautiful, new smile. 

We love questions! 

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Robert Hawke, DDS

Dr. Robert Hawke has provided compassionate, exceptional dental care to his patients in Tucson, AZ, for over 40 years. He is dedicated to using advanced technology, and his family-friendly practice offers emergency services and financing. He is a proud member of:

  • The American Dental Association
  • The Academy of General Dentistry
  • The Southern Arizona Dental Society 
  • The Academy of Laser Dentistry

To schedule an appointment, please contact us online or call (520) 323-3842.

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Tucson Office

1575 N Swan Rd
Ste 200
Tucson, AZ 85712

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