A dental bridge is placed when one or more consecutive teeth are missing to “bridge the gap” and restore your dental health and function. Dental bridges can be either fixed or removable and are attached to adjacent healthy teeth or dental implants.
Dr. Sousa will recommend the use of a fixed bridge whenever appropriate for the best result. A fixed bridge will give you back a secure, permanent smile that enables you to eat and speak with confidence.
Importance of Replacing Teeth
Missing teeth are more than a cosmetic problem, they also lead to a range of complex problems affecting your dental and overall health. When teeth are lost, the tooth root is no longer healthy and does not support bone tissue around it. This causes changes in the fit of the bite, the shape of the jaw and allows remaining teeth to shift. Patients with missing teeth are at a much greater risk of developing gum disease and tooth decay as changes occur in the mouth.
If you have missing teeth, Dr. Sousa can help you restore a natural looking and comfortable smile with a dental bridge, dental implants or implant-supported bridge. Dr. Sousa works with patients as individuals, taking the time to thoroughly evaluate their oral health needs and understand their goals before recommending the best solution. Your dental restoration is custom fabricated in our on-site lab using the highest standard of materials for the best possible result. We offer a consistency of care not found in most other dental offices for restoring beauty and function to your smile.
Always a fantastic experience with lovely staff. Couldn’t ask for a better dentist !Michelle Cassera
Innovative dentistry, friendly enthusiastic staff, with common sense applied to treatment. What more could one ask for?Lisa Madsen
Dr Sousa has been my dentist for over 15 years. He is an excellent craftsman and knows all aspects of his profession. His staff is warm and friendly and his office is clean and pleasant.Rita Waldorf
Dental Bridges What to Expect
The process for replacing missing teeth with a dental bridge will vary, depending on the method of attachment chosen. If your new bridge is to be anchored by existing teeth, dental crowns are often placed first to provide greater stability. If dental implants are to be placed, Dr. Sousa will surgically place the implanted posts first, followed by a healing period of several months. Once the soft tissues are healed, the dental bridge can be designed and placed.
Our staff makes every effort to ensure that you are comfortable and relaxed and each visit with us. We take the time to get to know you and offer personalized compassionate dental care tailored to your specific needs.
How is a bridge attached?
The attachment procedure usually takes two or three appointments to complete. At the first appointment, Dr. Sousa will prepare the teeth on either side of the gap by removing a portion of the enamel and dentin.
Since the bridge must be fabricated very precisely to ensure correct bite and to match the opposing tooth, impressions of the teeth are taken and sent to a lab where the bridge will be constructed.
Fixed bridges are typically cemented to the natural teeth next to the space left by the missing tooth. A pontic (false tooth) replaces the lost tooth. Crowns, which are cemented onto the natural teeth, provide support for the bridge.
Bridges can be constructed from a variety of materials. The most common types include gold alloys, non-precious alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials. Porcelain is often bonded to either precious or non-precious metal.
A strict oral hygiene regimen is necessary to properly care for your bridge. This includes daily brushing and flossing to keep the bridge and surrounding teeth clean. This is of critical importance as the bridge relies on the neighboring teeth for support. Not taking good care of your teeth may result in damage that will require extensive dental work.
Unfortunately, the support teeth with the crowns are still susceptible to decay and other dental problems. If this happens, the bridge will need to be removed to treat the damaged tooth. Whether or not the bridge can be re-used depends on the extent of the damage and where it is located. The best thing you can do to avoid this issue is take very good care of your teeth and gums.