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.
Types of Dental Bridges
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-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 They are also ideal for patients who lack a supporting tooth on one side and rely on outdated cantilever bridges, which are prone to failure.
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The Traditional Bridge Procedure
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.