Fill in the Gap with a Dental Bridge
A large gap left behind by missing teeth can detract from your smile. Even worse, tooth loss can have a significant negative impact on your function and oral health. A dental bridge at our Batesville, MS, practice can span the gap in your smile and promote healthy teeth and gums. Crafted from metal, ceramic, zirconia, or other high-quality materials, these restorations are designed to restore your function and comfort to your bite. Dr. Thomas W. Hodge is committed to providing fully personalized treatment to meet your unique dental goals.
Is a Dental Bridge Right for Me?
Bridges are usually recommended to patients who are missing one or more teeth in a row. However, if you have significant tooth loss throughout your smile, you may be better suited to alternative treatments, such as a partial denture or dental implants. Furthermore, you should have healthy teeth and gums, free from decay and disease. Otherwise, the long-term success of the bridge could be compromised. During a consultation at our Batesville office, Dr. Hodges can help determine if a dental bridge will effectively meet your needs.
Types of Dental Bridges
Some of the most common types of bridges include:
- Traditional: Comprised of two dental crowns with artificial teeth between them, a traditional fixed bridge is bonded to natural teeth on either side of the space. Once in place, the artificial teeth fill in the gap and complete your smile. In order to place a traditional bridge, small amounts of enamel must be removed from the teeth neighboring the gap.
- Implant-supported: An implant-supported bridge is connected to dental implants rather than teeth. Consequently, this solution does not require the alteration of your natural tooth structure. However, implants require three to six months of healing before the final restoration can be placed. Though this lengthens the timeline considerably, most patients agree the wait is well worth it.
- Cantilever: In contrast to a typical dental bridge, a Cantilever has only one dental crown, not two. When the crown is placed, the artificial tooth extends over the empty space and fills the gap. These restorations are not used as often today as they were in the past. However, there may still be some cases when they are appropriate.
- Maryland: The primary goal of this bridge is to preserve as much natural tooth structure as possible. To do this, the bridge is bonded into place using special resin wings, which attach to the back surfaces of the neighboring teeth.
- Prettau® Zirconia: This innovative restoration is intended for patients who are missing all of their teeth on one or both arches. After strategically placing dental implants in the jaw, a custom bridge is permanently affixed, restoring health and function.
- Same-day: At our Batesville practice, we utilize CEREC® technology. This digital imaging system allows us to create custom restorations in the office while you wait. Those who qualify for this type of restoration can complete all of their treatment in a single visit.
Maintaining Your Dental Bridge
Fortunately, a dental bridge can be cleaned just like your natural teeth. We recommend using a nonabrasive fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled brush. Keep in mind you will need to clean underneath your bridge daily to keep harmful bacteria from accumulating. This can be achieved with floss threaders, dental picks, or interproximal brushes. During a visit to our Batesville practice, we can demonstrate proper hygiene techniques. Routine exams and cleanings can help keep your new bridge in tip-top shape.