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Dentistry Memphis

Dental Bridges: What the Procedure Involves

A dental bridgeMissing teeth can lead to a number of problems. Thankfully there are many treatment options out there that restore the look of your smile as well as your ability to bite and chew. Our Memphis dental care center is pleased to offer custom dental bridges, which allow patients to smile with renewed confidence.

Many patients who are missing teeth have questions about dental bridges and what the treatment process entails. Let's cover the basics of dental bridges and then go over the procedure.

About Dental Bridges

A dental bridge is an appliance that is used to fill in the gap left by missing teeth. The bridge literally bridges the gap between teeth, filling in the space where the original teeth previously were. If there is not enough tooth structure in place to support a bridge, a partial denture may be recommended instead.

A traditional bridge is held in place by bracing around the teeth that are adjacent to the tooth gap. There are variations on a traditional bridge as well, which we will also discuss as the procedure can vary. First, let's cover the basics of a traditional dental bridge.

Taking Dental Impressions

The first step of the dental bridge process is taking impressions of the tooth gap and the teeth around the gap. From these impressions, the bridge can be custom crafted and designed. Medical records will also be considered to account for the natural teeth that were lost.

Working with a Dental Lab

The dental bridge itself will not be made at the office, but rather crafted by technicians at an off-site dental lab. Using dental records, notes from the dentist, and the knowledge accrued over years of creating dental appliances, a custom dental bridge will be created. Great care will be taken to ensure optimal fit and a natural appearance.

Checking the Bridge for Fit and Comfort

When the dental bridge is completed, your dentist will ask you to try it on. This will help assess the fit of the bridge and consider its appearance as well. Tweaks may be made if necessary, and in some cases the dental lab may be consulted if major modifications to the bridge are required.

Fixed Dental Bridges with Dental Crowns

A fixed bridge with dental crowns consists of a dental bridge that has crowns on both ends. The crowns cap the teeth adjacent to the tooth gap, securing the bridge in place in the process. These crown-supported bridges are less likely to slip or budge, meaning greater stability and security.

Implant-Supported Dental Bridges

Implant-supported dental bridges are bridges that are held in place with dental implants. Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that are surgically embedded into the jawbone and gum tissue. During the recovery process after oral surgery, these implants fuse with the bone structure. The process is known as osseointegration. The implants essentially function like natural tooth roots would, and the bridge can be snapped into place on the implant abutments.

One or two dental implants may be necessary to hold the bridge in place. These kinds of fixed bridges offer the highest level of support and stability when biting and chewing.

Learn More About Dental Bridges

If you would like to learn more about dental bridges and how they can help you smile with renewed confidence, be sure to contact Southwind Dental Care today. The team at our practice will help you undergo the dental treatment you need.

Tagged In: Dental Bridges, Missing Teeth, Restorative Dentistry

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I have been to several dentists in the Memphis Area and I have finally found THE ONE!! Dr. Messer is the best dentist I have ever been to. I have complete confidence in any procedure that he performs and I can't imagine ever going to any other dentist.

-Meredith Page B.