Bridging Gaps Left by Missing Teeth
Having a smile that you enjoy showing off is an important aspect of your overall confidence. When you lose a tooth, however, that confidence can be significantly impacted, and so can the state of your oral health and your bite’s ability to function properly. Fortunately, you can regain that confidence, and your optimal oral health, by replacing the lost tooth as soon as possible. A dental bridge is a dental prosthesis designed to mimic the function and appearance of your healthy, natural tooth, before it was lost. Once your bridge is secured in place, it can effectively fill the gap in your teeth, reestablish proper balance in your bite, and make your smile whole once again.
What is a dental bridge?
A dental bridge consists of a lifelike replacement tooth, or pontic, that’s designed to replicate the tooth you’ve lost. It’s fashioned according to precise measurements of your teeth and dental ridges to ensure that it successfully fits with the rest of them. The pontic is bordered by one or two dental crowns, which are secured to the healthy teeth closest to the gap (called abutment teeth). In many cases, a bridge’s pontic and supportive crowns are made from highly realistic dental porcelain or zirconia, allowing your restoration to blend in almost seamlessly with the rest of your smile.
Benefits of implant bridges
For some patients, we may recommend supporting a custom dental bridge on one or two dental implant posts. Dental implants are root-like structures that are inserted into the jawbone where the roots of lost teeth used to be. With the help of the more lifelike support, your prosthetic bridge can offer your smile several unique benefits, including:
- Greater comfort and stability – Dental implants anchor your prosthesis in place, making it substantially more stable and comfortable than a bridge supported by abutment teeth.
- Enhanced support system – Because your bridge is anchored to your jawbone rather than bonded to abutment teeth, it more closely mimics the way in which healthy teeth roots support your teeth.
- Improved long-term oral health – As you bite and chew with an implant-supported bridge, the implant stimulates your jawbone, which helps maintain the flow of vital minerals and nutrients that your jawbone and teeth depend on.
- Reduced risk of losing more teeth – When your jawbone loses stimulation because of a lost tooth root, it also loses mass and density over time. Replacing the root helps preserve your jawbone’s strength, which reduces your risks of losing more teeth in the future.
Learn which bridge is right for you
With the help of a custom-made dental bridge, losing a tooth can have less of an impact on your confidence and smile. To learn more, schedule a consultation at Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry in Houston, TX, today by calling (281) 974-4494.