Missing teeth can not only be an embarrassing dental problem affecting your daily life but often leads to additional complex dental problems as a result of shifting teeth and shrinkage of bone in the jaw.
Replacing missing teeth with the most suitable option for your dental health is the key to a comfortable result. Durham NC dentist Dr. Brent Blaylock provides several options for tooth replacement and will determine which is best for you after a thorough examination and discussion of your personal concerns, goals, and budget.
About Dental Bridges
Dental bridges can provide lasting, effective tooth replacement for patients missing one or several teeth. Dental bridges are supported on each side by either a natural tooth strengthened by a dental crown or a dental implant.
There are two types of dental bridges: removable and fixed. Dr. Blaylock recommends a fixed bridge whenever possible for the long-term benefits to both daily quality of life and oral health.
The Dental Bridge Process
Replacing missing teeth with a dental bridge will be a multi-step process.
Dr. Blaylock begins with a comprehensive evaluation to examine the health of the teeth, gums, jaw joints, and other support structures. You may have an existing dental bridge or have teeth that need to be extracted.
The dental bridge will be fabricated in a local dental laboratory to Dr. Blaylock’s specifications. You may have a temporary bridge to wear in the intermediate time period. In approximately 2 to 3 weeks from your initial visit, you will return to our Durham dentist office for the delivery of the final restoration.
Implant-Supported Dental Bridge
If you have several consecutive missing teeth, Dr. Blaylock may suggest dental implants to support a dental bridge. Here, the series of prosthetic teeth that are linked together will be supported by dental implants instead of prepared natural teeth.
Two or more dental implants will be surgically placed in the jaw bone and allowed to heal for about three to six months. Next, Dr. Blaylock will permanently attach the bridgework to the dental implants. Implants are a better option for missing teeth because they actually replace the tooth root which reduces the chance of bone loss.
Dental Bridge FAQs
How much does a dental bridge cost?
The cost of a dental bridge will depend on the number and location of the missing teeth as well as the type of bridge and materials chosen. Dr. Blaylock accepts nearly all dental insurance providers and will file electronically on your behalf for your direct reimbursement.
Can you repair broken bridgework?
Although dental bridges are built to last a long time, problems can still arise. If you have a dental bridge that has chipped, broken, or come loose, you should contact our Durham dentist office right away. Depending on the extent of damage, we may be able to cement the bridge or replace it altogether.
How do I take care of my dental bridge?
A dental bridge should be brushed and flossed just like natural teeth. Dr. Blaylock will show you a special technique to floss under and around the artificial tooth or teeth. It is also important to visit the dentist at least twice a year for routine examinations.
Seeking alternative ways of replacing gaps between teeth and missing teeth? Give us a call at 919.518.9963, or request an appointment online today.