Dental bridges don’t just restore your smile if you lose a tooth — or teeth — they can also keep your remaining teeth from suffering undue strain or shifting within your mouth. A properly placed dental bridge can have you speaking and eating normally again and they look just like your natural teeth. For expertly placed dental bridgework, visit Richard Rhoads, Jr., DDS, and his team at Smiles by the Lake today. Call the Overland Park, Kansas, office to make an appointment with the helpful staff, or book online with the scheduling tool.
A bridge does just what it sounds like: It bridges a gap between two teeth. If you have one or more missing teeth, an artificial tooth or set of teeth (called a pontic), is attached to healthy teeth on either side of the gap. When properly placed, a dental bridge won’t move or shift, and it will look just like your natural teeth.
Not only do dental bridges restore your smile and ability to speak and chew normally, but they can help keep your remaining teeth healthy and strong. If you’re missing one or more teeth, the rest of your teeth suffer excess pressure when you bite down, potentially causing cracks or broken teeth. Your teeth can shift in your mouth to fill the gaps as well, further misaligning your smile.
There are three main types of dental bridge, including:
This is the most common type of bridge, and Dr. Rhoads uses bridges when there are healthy teeth on either side of the gap that can support a dental crown. These are typically made of ceramic or porcelain fused to metal.
Dr. Rhoads can use these when there’s a healthy tooth on only one side of the gap. These are viable in some situations but have recently become less popular, usually in favor of a Maryland bonded bridge.
These are primarily for use in the back of the mouth and also only require one side of the gap to support them. A metal or porcelain wing, bonded to the adjacent tooth or teeth, holds this bridge in place.
Getting a dental bridge is a similar process to getting a dental crown. First, Dr. Rhoads prepares your teeth on either side of the gap, filing them into shape to support the pontic. He takes impressions of these teeth for the bridge to be made, and then installs a temporary bridge for you to wear while your permanent one is constructed.
After a few weeks, you return for a second visit and Dr. Rhoads cements the permanent bridge into place on one or both sides, depending on the type of bridge.
If you’re missing one or more teeth, find out if a dental bridge could help you today. Call the office or set up an appointment online.