Dental Bridges in Humble Tx
A bridge is made to replace one or more missing teeth and is cemented in place so the patient is unable to remove it at home. It looks and feels like natural teeth and, because it is cemented in place, bridges don’t move, just like natural teeth don’t move. Bridges are made for patients who are missing teeth but still have at least one tooth posterior to and anterior to the missing gap.
How are they made?
Bridges are made by shaving down the tooth or teeth in front of and behind a gap in the patient’s smile. These teeth on either side of the gap, once shaved down, have crowns placed over the top of them. Crowns are like hats which completely cover the original teeth and tuck under the gum tissue. The crowns on either side of the tooth gap are bonded together with fake teeth that span the gap, creating a single structure comprised of crowns on either end and a fake tooth or teeth in between. This bridge is cemented in place to the teeth on the either of side of the gap.
Who should get bridges?
Bridges are ideal for patients who already have crowns on teeth anterior and posterior to a gap. That means the teeth surround the tooth gap have already been shaved down for crown work. Bridges are also nice for patients who have extreme bone loss after teeth are extracted (see Bone Grafting and how extraction of teeth should be done with simultaneous bone grafting with a board certified surgeon like Dr. Gregory ). In some cases, extreme bone loss makes the placement of dental implants impossible or prohibitively costly, and for those patients a bridge will still give them permanent teeth to smile with and chew on and avoid something removable like a partial or full denture.
What are my other treatment options if I am missing teeth?
If sufficient bone exists, dental implants are the ideal treatment option for patients with missing teeth (see Dental Implants). Dental implants stand on their own and don’t require the shaving down of teeth anterior to and posterior to a tooth gap. Unlike a bridge, dental implants don’t depend on the health of the teeth in front of them and behind them. For patients with bridge work, if any of the teeth that hold bridge get decay in the future, the entire bridge has to be cut off and remade at full cost. Dental implants stand alone and restorative work on adjacent teeth doesn’t affect the implant and doesn’t require additional expenses.
If finances prohibit patients from bridge work and from dental implants, removable partial dentures (see Removable Partial Dentures) or full dentures (see Dentures) are options. Partial dentures rest on existing teeth and replace all the teeth missing on either the top or the bottom jaw. Full dentures rest on gum tissue and are for patients who are missing all of their teeth. Many patients function and smile successfully with removable work, but some patients feel uncomfortable with the movement during speaking and chewing that happens with removable appliances. In addition, taste can be altered with a removable appliance and speech can change. Diet often has to be adjusted to softer foods as removable appliances support less chewing force than dental implant options or natural teeth.
If you think you are a candidate for dental bridges or would like to find out more about them and how a dental bridge might work to solve your dental issues, call our office today to set up an appointment to see Dr. Alisha Paal. You can also set “Schedule an Appointment” using the app on the right side of this page.