Dental Bridges: Saving Smiles By Replacing Teeth

When something is missing from your home, you make plans to get it. If you have an old couch that’s starting to fall apart, you get a new one to replace it. If a deck is rotted and unsafe, you look into getting a new one put in. When you have something that’s not working or needs replacing, you do so as soon as you can.

When it comes to your smile, that should apply to your teeth as well. At our Rochester, MN dental office, you can get several restorative dentistry treatments to save your teeth. Dental crowns can repair damaged, root canals can remove infections, and so on. Yet there are times when the only thing left to do is remove a tooth.

When that’s done, what’s next? You replace it. Until you do, chewing will be a little more difficult. You can easily be embarrassed to smile because you know people will see that out-of-place gap in your smile. Nearby teeth will start to slowly slide towards the gap, making your smile look uneven. Food particles can also build up in that space, increasing your risk of tooth decay on neighboring teeth.

You have a choice in how to replace the missing tooth, but one popular choice is a dental bridge. It’s a nonsurgical, long-lasting treatment that restores your smile.

Dental Bridges Explained

With a dental bridge, you get a replacement tooth made to look and feel like the one that you lost. These replacements are custom-made to fit your smile in particular. You’ll even have measurements taken to make sure it will fit properly. The replacement tooth is shaded to match the color of your existing teeth. With the right color and shape, people will have trouble noticing it’s not one of your natural teeth.

The replacement is only one part of the dental bridge. Just as a real-world bridge connects two pieces of land over a gap between them, your dental bridge often includes a pair of dental crowns. These are placed on the teeth next to the gap and hold tightly onto the replacement tooth.

Different Types Of Dental Bridges

At our Rochester, MN dental office, you can choose between two different kinds of dental bridges: traditional and implant-supported.

With traditional dental bridges, no oral surgery is needed. Instead, the replacement tooth is held tightly by a pair of dental crowns. These lifelike caps are places on the two teeth on either side of the gap. The replacement tooth is fused with these crowns. This keeps it snugly and securely in your smile without any oral surgery.

Implant-supported dental bridges often have more than one replacement tooth. Because of that, fusing them to a pair of dental crowns doesn’t give the same strength. It’s like making a real-world bridge between two far-away points; it’s not going to work well. To help with this, a titanium root is surgically implanted in your jawbone. Your dental bridge is connected to this implant, and sometimes it’s still fused to dental crowns for added stability.

How Our Dentists Put Dental Bridges In Your Smile

Before anything else is done, our dentists will discuss your treatment options with you. This way, you can make an informed decision and pick the restorative dentistry treatment that works best for your finances and dental goals.

Once a dental bridge has been chosen, our team will carefully examine your smile and take accurate measurements. If you are going with an implant-supported bridge, X-rays will be taken of your jawbone to make sure the bone underneath is healthy enough to safely hold onto the implant. The measurements are used to sculpt a beautiful, natural-looking replacement tooth.

When that comes back from the lab, your teeth are prepared for the dental crowns. This means our dentists will gently remove a thin layer of enamel from the teeth getting the crowns. (If we didn’t, the crowns holding your replacement tooth will make those teeth look oddly big.) Finally, the replacement is fused to the crowns, and it’s all expertly placed in your smile.

When you are missing a tooth for any reason, you really need to replace it sooner rather than later. The longer you wait, the longer you suffer from increased cavity risks and an unsightly smile. Dental bridges will fill in that gap with a beautiful replacement. If you have any questions about how dental bridges can help your smile, call us today at 507-216-6252.