Dental Bridges in Shreveport, LA
If you have lost a tooth, you are probably looking for the quickest way to replace it and reclaim a complete, healthy smile. One of the most common treatment options is to fill the gap with a dental bridge. Bridges are a cost-effective option that only require a few dental appointments to place. Filling the gap left by a missing tooth with a dental bridge restores an attractive smile, and prevents the remaining teeth from moving, which can lead to problems with the bite.
Types of Dental Bridges
There are a few different types of dental bridges. The type that is right for you will depend on the tooth that is missing and where it is in the mouth.
Traditional (Pontic) Bridge
The most common type of bridge is a traditional bridge, which is constructed with a false tooth (called a pontic) supported on either side by two crowns. The crowns fit over the teeth adjacent to the gap, and the pontic fits snugly into the gap.
A cantilever bridge consists of an artificial tooth attached to a crown on only one side. This is a good solution if you have lost a back molar and only have one tooth next to the gap.
Maryland (Porcelain) Bridge
A Maryland bridge is held in place with a metal or porcelain framework, which attaches to the backs of the teeth adjacent to the gap. A Maryland bridge is a great solution if you do not want the adjacent healthy teeth to be filed down to accommodate the supporting crowns. However, Maryland bridges are somewhat limited in strength and may not be a good option for teeth like the molars, which are subjected to substantial biting forces.
Another option is an implant-supported bridge, which is retained by implant posts placed in the jawbone. Implant-supported bridges offer maximum stability. The downside of implant-supported bridges is the process to place them takes a little longer than other bridges, since the implant post or posts must be surgically implanted in the jawbone.
Dental Bridge Placement Process
The process to place a traditional dental bridge typically involves two dental appointments.
During the first appointment, the teeth that are being crowned are carefully reshaped to make room for the restorations. Impressions are taken of the gap where the tooth is missing and the surrounding teeth; this information is sent to the dental laboratory that will construct the bridge. A temporary bridge is secured to the teeth to fill the empty space while the customized bridge is being made.
Once your permanent bridge is ready, the next appointment is scheduled. The provisional bridge is removed and the permanent bridge is placed to check the fit and your bite alignment. If everything fits and feels good, the permanent bridge is cemented into place.
As long as you take good care of your bridge with a diligent oral routine that includes brushing, flossing and routine dental exams, your bridge can last for years.
Learn More About Dental Bridges
To learn more about replacing a missing tooth with a dental bridge, please call or email our office today.