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How Dental Bridges Can Restore Your Smile

Apr 15, 2024
Dental Bridges at Glendale Heights Family Dental

If you're dealing with missing teeth, our team at Glendale Heights Family Dental might suggest a dental bridge as a solution. When there are gaps in your smile, it can lead to various issues like teeth shifting and even jawbone deterioration over time. Beyond the physical concerns, these spaces can also impact your daily life, making it challenging to eat, speak, or feel confident about your smile.

The dental bridge procedure is designed to address these concerns by providing a natural-looking and functional solution for missing teeth. This restoration method involves placing a false tooth, known as a pontic, in the open space where the missing tooth used to be. The pontic is then anchored in place using crowns attached to the adjacent natural teeth or dental implants on both sides of the gap.

Benefits of Getting Dental Bridges

  • Restore Your Smile: A dental bridge can truly transform your smile, restoring both its beauty and health. The value of a confident smile is immeasurable, and many patients experience a significant boost in self-esteem after getting a dental bridge or other tooth replacement. Have you ever found yourself trying to hide your smile in a group photo or feeling self-conscious about gaps in your teeth? Especially for front teeth, a dental bridge can greatly enhance your quality of life by giving you the ability to smile freely and confidently.
  • Chew Without Pain: After experiencing tooth loss, something as simple as enjoying your favorite foods can become a painful or challenging task. The absence of a tooth can lead to discomfort, particularly when nearby teeth start shifting towards the open space. This movement can cause misalignment, leading to pain and difficulty while chewing. Additionally, food particles may accumulate in the empty socket left by the missing tooth, potentially leading to gum irritation and damage. To permanently address this pain and discomfort while eating, we highly recommend considering dental bridge treatment. Living with pain during meals is not something you should have to endure on a regular basis. By investing in a dental bridge, you can regain the ability to chew comfortably and enjoy your meals without worry.
  • Restoring Speech: When multiple teeth are lost, it can significantly impact your ability to pronounce words correctly or speak clearly. You might find yourself struggling with certain sounds or developing a lisp due to the gaps in your smile. These speech difficulties are often a direct result of tooth loss, which affects the way your tongue and lips interact with your teeth during speech. A front teeth bridge fills the gaps left by missing teeth, restoring the natural alignment of your teeth. This allows for better control and coordination of your tongue and lips when forming sounds, improving your ability to articulate words clearly. With missing teeth replaced by a dental bridge, the airflow during speech is more controlled and directed, leading to improved pronunciation and clearer speech.
  • Preventing Jawbone Deterioration: It may come as a surprise, but once you lose a tooth, the process of jawbone deterioration begins. This deterioration occurs because the roots of your teeth play a crucial role in stimulating the bone cells in your jaw. When a tooth is lost, this natural stimulation is lost as well. As a result, the jawbone in that area no longer receives the necessary signals to maintain its density and strength. Without proper stimulation, the jawbone gradually starts to resorb or shrink over time. By filling the gap left by a missing tooth with a dental bridge, you provide the necessary stimulation to the underlying jawbone. The bridge effectively mimics the function of a natural tooth root, transmitting forces from chewing and biting down into the jawbone. This stimulation helps to preserve bone density and prevent the gradual resorption that occurs with tooth loss.

Types of Dental Bridges at Glendale Heights Family Dental

Tooth loss can occur in various forms, from the loss of a single tooth to multiple missing teeth. Because of this, there are different types of dental bridges available, each designed to suit specific dental needs and situations. At Glendale Heights Family Dental, we offer several types of dental bridges to address the diverse needs of our patients:

  • Traditional Bridges: Traditional dental bridges are the most common type used. These bridges are typically recommended when there are natural teeth surrounding the gap left by the missing tooth or teeth. The bridge consists of pontic (artificial) teeth held in place by dental crowns on the adjacent natural teeth. Made from durable materials like ceramic or porcelain, traditional bridges are designed to last long and restore both function and aesthetics.
  • Cantilever Bridges: Cantilever bridges are a suitable option when natural teeth are only present on one side of the gap. Unlike traditional bridges that anchor onto two adjacent teeth, a cantilever bridge is supported by only one tooth adjacent to the gap. This type of bridge can be beneficial in specific situations where there is only one tooth available to support the restoration.
  • Maryland Bridges: Maryland bridges, also known as resin-bonded bridges, are often chosen to replace missing front teeth. These bridges consist of pontic teeth attached to metal or porcelain wings on the backside of the adjacent natural teeth. Maryland bridges are a conservative option that preserves the structure of the adjacent teeth, making them a popular choice for front teeth restoration.
  • Implant-Supported Bridges: For individuals with several missing teeth or when there are no natural teeth available to support a traditional bridge, implant-supported bridges are an excellent solution. Instead of relying on adjacent natural teeth, the pontic teeth in an implant-supported bridge are anchored to dental implants surgically placed in the jawbone. This provides a stable and long-lasting solution that mimics the natural function and appearance of teeth.

Dental Bridges at Glendale Heights Family Dental

The procedure for dental bridges is a comprehensive process that involves several steps, all aimed at restoring your smile with a durable and natural-looking replacement for missing teeth.

The first step is an initial evaluation of your oral health by the dentist. This evaluation helps determine if you are a suitable candidate for dental bridges. X-rays and impressions of your teeth are typically taken during this stage to provide a clear view of your mouth's structure, aiding in effective treatment planning.

Once it's confirmed that dental bridges are the right treatment for you, the next step is to prepare the abutment teeth. These are the teeth on either side of the gap where the missing tooth or teeth used to be. The dentist will carefully remove a small amount of enamel from the abutment teeth to create space for the crowns or caps that will support and anchor the dental bridge. This preparation process ensures a secure and snug fit for the crowns, essential for the stability of the bridge.

Following the preparation of the abutment teeth, another set of impressions is taken. These impressions are used to create an accurate model of your mouth, including the prepared abutment teeth and the gap where the missing tooth or teeth are. The dental lab uses this model as a blueprint to fabricate your custom-made dental bridge, designed to match the size, shape, and color of your natural teeth for a seamless and natural appearance.

In some cases, temporary crowns or bridges may be placed over the prepared abutment teeth while you wait for your permanent bridge to be fabricated. These temporary restorations serve to protect the prepared teeth and provide functional and aesthetic benefits until the final bridge is ready. Once your custom dental bridge is ready, typically in a couple of weeks, you will return to the dentist for the final placement. The dentist will carefully check the fit and appearance of the bridge before bonding it into place using dental cement or adhesive. This ensures a strong and stable restoration.

After the bridge is in place, the dentist will make any necessary final adjustments to ensure proper fit and comfort. You will also receive instructions on how to care for your new dental bridge, including proper oral hygiene practices and dietary recommendations to maintain its longevity.

At Glendale Heights Family Dental, dental bridges not only restore your smile but also contribute to improved oral health and overall well-being. If you're considering this treatment, our experienced team is here to guide you through the process and help you achieve a healthy, confident smile.

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Glendale Heights Family Dentistry offers comprehensive dental services for all ages. Trust us as your go-to family dentist in Glendale Heights.
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Glendale Heights Family Dentistry offers comprehensive dental services for all ages. Trust us as your go-to family dentist in Glendale Heights.

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