Unfortunately, the American College of Prosthodontists reports: “178 million people in the U.S. are missing at least one tooth. These numbers are expected to grow in the next two decades.” If there is a gap in your smile, Dr. Stephen J. Gershberg can help you fill it with a dental bridge. This is a multi-tooth prosthesis that can allow you to speak, chew, and smile more comfortably. Dr. Gershberg and our team can provide a variety of customized dental bridges to suit your needs and preferences while restoring your teeth. In the following blog, we explain how we provide natural looking dental bridges to help you reclaim the appearance and function of your mouth after tooth loss.
The Importance of Replacing Missing Teeth
Leaving spaces in your smile can be uncomfortable and unhealthy. In addition to making you feel self-conscious about your mouth, missing one or more teeth can interfere with your daily activities and bring about further oral health issues. For example, when missing teeth are left untreated, those around the gap may begin to shift in position to fill it. In addition, the opposing tooth or teeth to the space may begin to further erupt when they no longer have a chewing surface. Without healthy teeth to exercise it, the jawbone material in this region can deteriorate, causing discomfort and changing the facial shape. For all of these reasons, Dr. Gershberg recommends replacing missing teeth as soon as possible to limit these risks and help you maintain your smile.
Who is a Candidate for a Dental Bridge?
Many patients can benefit from these tried and true prostheses. You may be a good candidate for a dental bridge if:
- You are missing a single tooth or multiple adjacent teeth. Dental bridges typically replace between one and three lost or extracted teeth.
- You have healthy teeth around the space in your smile, if you are interested in a traditional bridge.
- You have sufficient jawbone material to hold dental implants on both sides of the gap, if you wish to pursue an implant-supported bridge.
- You are in good general health.
- You do not suffer from decay or gum disease in or around the treatment area. Dr. Gershberg can help you remedy these conditions so you may become eligible for a dental bridge.
- You are committed to properly maintaining your dental bridge so that it remains attractive, durable, and intact for many years.
Dr. Gershberg will examine your mouth, go over your dental record, and discuss your concerns with you to determine if you are eligible for a dental bridge at your initial consultation.
Types of Dental Bridges
There are several kinds of dental bridges, including:
- Traditional bridges, which consist of two dental crowns placed over healthy teeth and connected to a pontic (artificial tooth or teeth) in between.
- Cantilever bridges, a rare form of prosthesis that is attached to a single dental crown on just one side. These have largely fallen out of favor in modern dentistry because they put undue pressure on the anchor tooth and can be especially problematic when placed at the back of the mouth.
- Maryland bonded bridges, which include a pontic held in place by two ceramic or metal “wings,” small attachments to healthy teeth on either side.
- Implant-supported bridges, which are held in place by two dental implants, titanium posts inserted into the jawbone where they fuse with the tissue and replace missing tooth roots.
Achieving a Natural Look and Feel
No matter which type of dental bridge you choose, Dr. Gershberg will secure it with one or more sturdy, stain-resistant, cosmetic porcelain crowns. He most often recommends implant-supported bridges because they provide a realistic appearance and excellent fit. Many patients prefer implant-supported bridges because these restorations:
- Exercise the jawbone tissue during chewing, speaking, and other motion, preventing it from deteriorating.
- Do not shift in the mouth the way traditional, cantilever, or Maryland bonded bridges may.
- Tend to be more durable. Implant-supported bridges can last a lifetime with proper care.
Dr. Gershberg will work closely with you to design and place a dental bridge that will look and feel great within your mouth.
About Your Dental Bridge and Implant Dentist in Bryn Mawr
Dr. Gershberg brings over 30 years of dental experience to his Bryn Mawr practice. If you require a dental bridge, he will use his knowledge and expertise to help you choose an appropriate type so you can enjoy a healthy, beautiful grin. To learn more about dental bridges or find out how this type of restoration may help you reclaim your smile, call (610) 527-6700 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Gershberg.