Replacing missing teeth is extremely important. Gaps between teeth can leave the gums open to infection and bacteria and over time the bone can deteriorate and affect neighboring teeth. Dental bridges are used to literally “bridge the gap” between teeth in order to fill in the gaps created by missing teeth.
Fox Lake dentist Dr. Thomas Prendergast offers several treatment options for missing teeth including dental bridges. An experienced restorative dentist, he can evaluate your teeth and gums to determine if a dental bridge is right for you. We can place a dental bridges using your natural teeth as anchors or dental implants.
Benefits of Dental Bridges:
- Restore your smile by closing gaps that lost teeth leave behind. Dental bridges are an economical way to fill in the gaps in your smile.
- Properly chew and speak without having to consciously think about it. It can be frustrating and distracting when you have to think about what foods you can and can’t eat because of missing teeth.
- Maintain the shape of your face. Missing teeth left unaddressed can contribute to premature facial sagging.
- Bite properly by distributing forces evenly with a dental bridge in place.
- Dental Bridges will prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position. They can also help deter gum disease and cavities.
Dental Implant: An Alternative to A Dental Bridge
Old dental bridges can place stress on your natural, surrounding teeth. If your surrounding teeth are healthy, a better option to replace missing teeth for you might be dental implants. If one tooth is missing, your dentist can use an implant to restore natural structure and function to your bite without having to impact healthy neighboring teeth.
When several consecutive teeth need to be replaced, dental implants can secure a dental bridge for a more stable long-term result. This type of restoration is permanent as well. They do not require special care, and there is no need to remove implants every day before bed.
An implant-secured bridge is ideal because it eliminates needing to have stress on your natural teeth. Though they’re often fortified with dental crowns, teeth that are anchors for a dental bridge are more susceptible to tooth decay and damage. Implants do require a certain amount of healthy tooth structure. We’ll determine whether implants or an implant-supported bridge are the right choice for you.
The Process for a Dental Bridge in Fox Lake, IL
The replacement of missing teeth with a dental bridge or implant-supported bridge begins with a thorough exam and consultation with Dr. Prendergast. The best possible result relies on careful treatment planning and a well-informed patient.
We will put together a treatment plan that closely aligns with your unique needs, budget, and cosmetic goals.
If we need to place dental implants, we will schedule the surgical part of the process with an oral surgeon. It will take several months of healing time before your dentist can secure the final restoration. If possible, the dentist will secure a temporary bridge to give you back a functional smile.
Once the gums have healed or to begin the process of placing a traditional bridge, dental impressions will be taken and your restoration will be designed to complement your appearance. A dental lab will make your final bridge and your dentist will permanently secured it in our office.
Dental Bridge FAQs
How many teeth can be on a bridge?
Modern dental bridges can replace a large row of missing teeth, known as implant-supported bridges. Traditional bridges can replace anywhere between 2 to 6 consecutively missing teeth.
How long will it take to get used to a new dental bridge?
It can take two weeks to get accustomed to a new dental bridge. During this time, you will get used to eating and speaking with your new restoration. Once you are adjusted to your dental bridge, it will be easy and comfortable to perform normal functions like biting and chewing.
Are bridges bad for your teeth?
No. Bridges do not usually contribute to tooth damage. However, if you have an ill-fitting bridge that wiggles, you can be susceptible to cavities forming under your bridge crowns.
What can you not eat with a dental bridge?
You should avoid eating very gummy and very sticky foods. Your bridge is not susceptible to tooth stains. Hard foods like nuts can also damage your bridge.
Why does my dental bridge hurt?
Your bridge may not fit snuggly. They can cause gum irritation and tooth pain if they do not fit properly. We can adjust your bridge or recommend other options with a dental exam.
How do you floss with a dental bridge?
Flossing between teeth in a dental bridge is not possible. The fake teeth are fused together. However, you can floss under a bridge by using a floss threader. You can find this item at your local drug or grocery store.
Schedule a Dental Exam & Consultation
If you have missing teeth, call Infinity Dental of Fox Lake for an appointment with one of our dentists to discuss your options. Dental bridges, implants, and many other procedures can restore your smile and keep your teeth healthy.