Dental bridges fill gaps to complete your stunning, functional smile
At Smile Today Dental in Glenview, Illinois, we pride ourselves on designing teeth and gums in a hassle-free way that complements our clients’ busy lifestyles. One of the most efficient, cost-effective, and time-tested ways to fill gaps and complete your smile is with a dental bridge.
Drs Evelyn Kidonakis, Jinyoung Yoo, and Amir Danesh may recommend bridges to patients whose natural teeth cannot be successfully restored with endodontic procedures, such as nonsurgical root canal therapy. For patients who have already undergone extractions, we will want to fill those gaps promptly. Prompt tooth replacement helps to support lasting oral health, quality of life, and overall wellbeing. The longer a patient sustains tooth loss, the worse existing problems with speech or chewing food can become. Self-esteem and nutrition can suffer. Additionally, the supporting bone retreats over time when patients lack the teeth that stimulate the underlying bony structure.
The bridge design
Like architectural bridges, dental bridges can be designed in several different ways. The design that works best for your situation depends on factors such as the locations and number of missing teeth. Why does this matter? Anchor teeth support the conventional dental bridge on either side of the gap or missing tooth. These anchor teeth are called “abutments.” The replacement teeth are referred to as “pontics.” To properly support the pontic(s), abutments must be crowned. All crowns require that some natural tooth material be removed. So, the crown fits nicely over the tooth. The pontic(s) are fused to the dental crowns. Then, one of our dentists secures the bridge to the reduced, natural abutment teeth. Once bonded, the bridge is not going anywhere!
For the lasting health of your smile
Dental bridges can last for many years, even a lifetime, with excellent oral hygiene at home and regular professional cleanings and exams at our practice. There are some considerations, however, associated with traditional bridges:
- First, to prevent tooth decay, we will demonstrate techniques to clean well underneath the bridge. We may also recommend specific oral care products to prevent bacteria and plaque from collecting under the bridge. These products include floss threaders or interdental brushes.
- Second, dental bridges are a relatively straightforward and well-established way to replace teeth; however, they are not the most conservative option. Remember: Tooth structure must be removed from otherwise healthy abutment teeth.
If you are concerned about potential hygiene challenges or prefer a more “tooth-preserving option,” we are happy to discuss implant-retained bridges. The replacement teeth are supported by “artificial tooth roots,” or implants, placed in the jaw. This design eliminates the need to rely on neighbouring teeth for support. So, existing teeth remain unaltered and are preserved to their fullest!
Your improved smile (and all the beautiful things that come with it) awaits! Call 847-440-3331 to schedule your appointment at Smile Today Dental in Glenview.