Have you lost a tooth? Are you looking for a replacement that looks beautiful, functions like natural teeth, and doesn’t require surgery? A dental bridge might be ideal for you. Dental bridges use your natural teeth to support replacement teeth, so they can be placed without need for surgery, just a normal dental procedure like fitting a crown. Bridges are only useful in limited situations, but in the right situation, they can be the best way to replace your lost tooth.

If you would like to learn whether a dental bridge is the right choice to replace your lost tooth, please contact a local lovebites dentist today for an appointment.

What Are Dental Bridges?

Dental bridges are a tooth replacement option that uses dental crowns over your natural teeth to support a replacement tooth to bridge a gap in your smile. While we could technically support many replacement teeth (called “pontics”) with a dental bridge, that can put excessive stress on your supporting teeth. In situations where more than one tooth needs to be replaced, most dentists recommend dental implants.

There are dental bridges that aren’t supported by dental crowns–they use “wings” that bond to the backs of your natural teeth. These are called Maryland bridges, and while they don’t require dental crowns on your natural teeth, they also aren’t as strong.

Dental bridges are sometimes called fixed partial dentures (FPDs), because “denture” can refer to any tooth replacement. We also use the phrase dental bridge to refer to tooth replacements with more than one tooth that are supported by dental implants, though we are more likely to call those implant-supported dentures.

What Can Dental Bridges Do?

Dental bridges are tooth replacements that offer many benefits. A dental bridge:

  • Is fully fixed in place, it doesn’t fall out
  • Lets you bite and chew normally
  • Looks attractive and natural
  • Is long-lasting (10-15 years)

Because dental bridges are bonded to your natural teeth by their supporting crowns, they won’t fall out when you’re eating, talking, or laughing. Dental bridges maintain your natural bite–you can eat normally with them, unlike removable partial dentures, which can be hard to eat with.

Dental bridges look attractive and natural. They precisely match your natural teeth, and there are no hooks, clasps, or wires on the replacement teeth.

When properly placed, dental bridges can last for a long time, as much as 15 years, and usually 10 years.

For all their benefits, dental bridges do have some limitations. Dental bridges:

  • Can only be used in limited situations
  • May put supporting teeth at risk
  • Don’t support bones or gums

Dental bridges are best when a missing tooth is flanked by two damaged but overall healthy teeth. That way, we replace the lost tooth and only put crowns on teeth that need them. Otherwise, a dental bridge makes us remove healthy tooth enamel, which we don’t like to do. And whenever we modify a tooth, it can reduce the lifespan of that tooth. We try to minimize the risk by only putting bridges in places where the forces aren’t too great, but the risk can’t be eliminated.

Dental implants sink down in the bone, but the replacement tooth in a bridge just sits on top of the gums. Because of this, implants help your body maintain bone and gums in the area, but a dental bridge doesn’t. Over time, the body will remove bone and gums from under the bridge, which can create an unattractive space.

Why Your Dentist Matters

Your dentist makes a big difference for your dental bridges. First, you want a dentist who properly selects the place to put a dental bridge. We want to make sure that the bite force on the bridge won’t be too much, which could lead to bridge or supporting tooth failure.

A dentist should also be good at preparing teeth for supporting crowns so that they get sturdy support without too much weakening of the support teeth. And your dental bridge needs to match your natural teeth precisely, so your dentist should have a good eye and a history of natural-looking restorations.

Why Your Lab Matters

With dental bridges, the dental lab is also critical. Replacing a tooth with a bridge means that the bridge has to blend in perfectly with the surrounding natural teeth, so the lab needs to be able to follow a dentist’s instructions precisely.

Quality control is especially important for dental bridges, which are put under more stress than other restorations. Structural flaws can lead to early failure of dental bridges.

That’s why lovebites partnered with Las Vegas Esthetics (LVE), one of the leading dental labs. It lets us offer quality US-made dental bridges at a discount.

Contact a lovebites Dentist

Are you looking to replace a lost tooth? Do you want a replacement that looks and works like a natural tooth? If so, a dental bridge might be right for you. Please contact a local lovebites dentist today for an appointment in your area.

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