Replacing lost teeth can be important to preserve the functions of your mouth, particularly efficient eating and the ability to speak. Dental implants are fast becoming the standard of care for missing teeth and at Volterra Dental, we specialize in these state-of-the-art tooth replacement systems.
However, not all patients can receive implants. In this case, a dental bridge may be the tooth restoration option that works best for you. Bridges are flexible, supported by healthy adjacent teeth to distribute biting force while maintaining permanent tooth spacing. As a full-service comprehensive and aesthetic dental practice, Dr. Richard Blackburn and the team at Volterra Dental offer dental bridges when these are the right choice for their patients.
There are several types of bridges and the best choice for you depends on the unique nature of your mouth and tooth loss. For a single lost tooth with healthy teeth on each side of the gap, a traditional fixed bridge is the typical recommendation. It’s also the most commonly used bridge format.
A cantilever bridge uses a pair of healthy teeth to one side of the empty space. Since biting forces on the replacement crown aren’t balanced, cantilever bridges require careful planning and preparation for maximum strength.
Maryland bonded bridges are often the choice to replace visible front teeth. Instead of using crowns over natural teeth on each side of the gap, the Maryland bridge uses metal wings attached to the rear surface of adjacent teeth to support the filler crown.
Bridges restore only the crown of a missing tooth, while implants also feature a root replacement. However, implants require oral surgery while bridges do not. That fundamental difference makes bridges the choice for a range of situations.
Patients with gum disease have elevated levels of bacteria in their mouths. This increases the risk of spreading infection during implant surgery. Bridges don’t require incisions into gum tissue, so spreading infection isn’t a concern.
Diabetic patients often have slowed healing due to the effects of the disease on blood vessels. Slow healing raises the risk of infection and could make implants more likely to fail. Dental bridges avoid these problems.
Implants require an adequate amount of healthy bone tissue in the jaw for a successful procedure. While bone grafts and other techniques allow many patients access to implants, dental implants bypass the bone density issue, potentially saving you time and expense.
The effects of tobacco products on your circulatory system mean that any implant procedure faces a higher risk of failure. Once again, these factors don’t affect dental bridge placement.
Sometimes, certain medications also tip the balance in favor of dental bridges. The best way to explore all your options is in consultation with the team at Volterra Dental. You can book your visit by phone or online. The sooner you close the gap, the healthier your mouth will be, so schedule an appointment today.