One or more missing teeth can adversely affect the appearance and functionality of your smile. Missing teeth can cause a change in occlusion (bite), shifting of the teeth, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), speech impediments, an increased risk for periodontal disease and a greater chance of tooth decay.
Dental bridges, like implants and partial dentures, are used to replace missing teeth. There are several types of fixed dental bridges (cannot be removed), including conventional fixed bridges, cantilever bridges, and resin-bonded bridges.
Typically, conventional and cantilever bridges require shaping of the teeth surrounding a missing tooth. Crowns are then placed on the shaped teeth and attached to an artificial tooth (called a pontic).
A resin-bonded bridge requires less preparation of adjacent teeth. It is often used to replace front teeth, provided that the gums are healthy and the surrounding teeth do not have extensive dental fillings.
The Dental Bridge Procedure
During the first visit, we will examine the health of your gums and other teeth to evaluate if you are a candidate for a dental bridge. If you are a candidate for a dental bridge, you are given a local anesthetic so we can prepare the teeth required to support the bridge. If the support teeth are decayed or badly broken down, we may have to build them back up before they can be used as support teeth for a bridge.
Next, we take an impression of the prepared teeth with a putty-like material that is used to create a model of your teeth. Your bridge is fabricated based on this model by a skilled lab technician so that it precisely fits the prepared teeth. It is important that your restoration fit perfectly to avoid additional oral health problems such as tooth decay.
While your bridge is being fabricated, we will fit you with a temporary bridge so the teeth and gums can be protected from damage until your permanent bridge is ready.
To complete the dental bridge procedure, you must return to the dental office for a second visit to have the bridge fitted and cemented.
The Cost of Dental Bridges
The cost of dental bridges depends on several factors, including:
- The potential need for additional procedures (such as fillings or root canals) in one or two of the adjoining teeth.
- The coverage provided by your dental insurance.
- The type of material used in the bridge.
- The preparation of teeth involved in the bridge procedure.
- If you exercise proper dental hygiene and visit for regular checkups, your bridges can last for many years. There are a number of variables that can affect bridge longevity, though it is not uncommon for a dental bridge to last for 10 to 20 years.
Main Street Dental accepts most dental insurance plans and we are also pleased to offer easy, NO INTEREST financing if you do not have insurance or if your insurance plan will only provide partial coverage.