Dental Bridges in Lehi, UT
A dental bridge is a popular restorative dentistry procedure when you have lost a tooth or more consecutive teeth on the same arch due to trauma or dental disease. This restoration, which relies on the support of neighboring teeth, looks natural and returns your mouth to full functionality.
Once your dental bridge is in place, you can chew and speak just as you did before you needed the procedure. A dental bridge also gives you the confidence to smile widely without the embarrassment of displaying a gap.
This is the best way to ensure that it will last a decade or more before you need to consider replacing it, and we want to teach you everything you need to know if you’re considering a dental bridge.Contact Us
What Are Dental Bridges?
The term “bridge” in dentistry refers to the fact that your dentist closes a gap between two teeth with some type of restoration. A dental bridge consists of an artificial tooth, called a pontic, held in place by abutments that attach to the back of the supporting teeth to the left and to the right of the missing tooth.
Dental laboratories typically create bridges from porcelain to ensure that they resemble the color and shape of the remaining teeth as closely as possible.
Once your bridge is placed, you can use your teeth as normal. You just need to be careful not to subject the treated tooth to stress, such as using it to open food packages or chewing on non-food items.
The Different Types of Dental Bridges
Your dentist will evaluate your unique situation before recommending one type of dental bridge over another. This includes an inspection of the location of your missing tooth, and deciding whether the neighboring teeth are strong enough to support the abutments needed to hold the artificial tooth in place. Below are some of the considerations that go into determining which type of dental bridge is most appropriate to replace your missing tooth or teeth:
When you receive a traditional dental bridge, your dentist cements crowns into each of the abutment teeth to ensure that the replacement tooth remains securely attached. This is the most commonly used type of dental bridge restoration. However, you need to have natural teeth on both sides of the gap to support the crowns and abutments. These teeth need to have enough strength and tooth enamel of their own to withstand the extra pressure placed on them.
A Maryland bridge also relies on attaching abutments to two neighboring teeth to provide support for the artificial tooth replacement. Instead of using crowns to keep the abutments in place, your dentist uses porcelain or metal materials that bond to the back of the teeth with the abutments attached. Your dentist can only offer this option when you have strong natural teeth on both sides of the missing tooth or teeth.
With this type of bridge, your dentist places dental implants that act as the support for the bridge. This is a good option if you are missing several teeth. In the event that it is not possible to install a separate implant for each of your missing teeth, your dentist will suspend the pontic crowns between two crowns supported by implants. Many dentists consider the implanted-supported bridge to be the most durable of the four types. If you receive an implant-supported bridge, you will need oral surgery to place the implants into your jawbone and a second appointment to place the dental bridge.
Who Needs a Dental Bridge?
Any person who is missing one or more of their natural teeth because of decay, disease, or trauma is a candidate for a dental bridge. However, the only way to know for sure is to schedule a consultation with your dentist. They will inform you of your best options for tooth replacement after completing a thorough examination and taking X-rays of your teeth, jaws, and the area surrounding your missing tooth.
Living with a missing tooth is more than just a cosmetic concern. It can cause several issues over months and years, including the following:
- Affects the ability to properly chew food and causes an uneven bite and distribution of force
- Your remaining teeth can begin shifting towards the open spot on your jawline and cause problems with alignment
- You may have difficulty producing certain speech sounds and hesitate to speak for fear of others misunderstanding you
- A missing tooth can change the shape of your face
We prefer that patients schedule an appointment to discuss restoration of a missing tooth as soon as possible after losing it. However, it’s never too late to fix the problem even if you have lived with the consequences of a missing tooth for several years.
Get Your Bridges By a Team That Cares
Dr. Grant and the team at Canyon Crest care about you and your long-term oral health. We invite you to schedule an appointment at Canyon Creek Dental today to learn more about the steps involved in getting a dental bridge. You can also discuss alternatives to dental bridges if you are interested in considering other options.