Dental bridges are an option for replacing one or more missing teeth. The only way to know if this tooth replacement system may be right for you is to visit Dr. Ronald Konig for a one-on-one consultation at our Houston office.
Restoring Missing Teeth with a Dental Bridge
Dr. Konig is extensively experienced in reconstructing the teeth and the entire bite. He can determine all of the treatments for which you are a good candidate and ultimately help you choose the right one for your expectations. To schedule your consultation, please call 713-668-2289 .
What Is a Dental Bridge?
Dental bridges are used in combination with dental crowns to replace missing teeth. Basically, a dental bridge is a set of connected tooth crowns. The bridge includes a false tooth, which actually replaces the missing tooth, and the surrounding dental crowns support the false tooth. The surrounding crowns are placed over your natural teeth, lending stability and durability to the tooth bridge.
For people who are good candidates, dental bridges typically have the following advantages:
- Fixed bridges are anchored in place and non-removable
- Provide good stability when you eat, speak and laugh
- Blend naturally into your smile
Replacing missing teeth is important for several reasons. Restoring your smile can make you feel more confident, when you would otherwise hide the gaps in your smile by placing your hand over your mouth or stifling your laughter. Feeling good about the appearance of your smile can be tremendously important to your mental and emotional health. Replacing missing teeth is also crucial to the proper alignment of your bite and the function of your teeth. A gap left behind by a missing tooth encourages other teeth to drift and tilt into the empty space. Proper bite alignment is also beneficial to the position and function of your jaw joints. A dental bridge may be the right way to avoid cosmetic and functional problems.
Placing Your Dental Bridge
To begin the dental bridge process, Dr. Konig will take impressions of your teeth so that a custom bridge can be designed and fabricated. The surrounding teeth will be slightly reduced so that the dental crowns will fit over them. You will be provided with a temporary restoration while your dental bridge is being made.
Once the bridge is ready, you will come back to our office to have it permanently bonded to your teeth. Dr. Konig does so using a special dental cement.
Dental bridges can be a good option for certain candidates, especially if dental implants are not an option or not desirable to you. Dental bridges look like natural teeth, and they can last as long as 7 years, or possibly longer, before they may need to be replaced.
How Long Do Dental Bridges Last?
A dental bridge can last 5 to 15 years with good care. It is not unusual for this type of restoration to last more than 10 years when a person is diligent about their oral care. A dental bridge is relatively easy to care for with daily brushing, flossing, and routine checkups.
What People Say About Us!
"I’m quite pain/dentist phobic although I do go for cleanings and dental care regularly. Dr. Konig is fabulous. He takes his time to explain options and make sure procedures are as pain-free as possible. The end result is great. I am also devoted to Linda, a hygienist there, for my cleanings for years. She’s gentle, caring and thorough. This is the only dental office in Houston that I’ll go to. Hopefully, they’re around for many more years."
How Many Teeth Can Be On A Bridge?
It is not uncommon for a dental bridge to replace several teeth. This restoration can hold 2, 3, or 4 artificial teeth as long as there is sufficient stabilization from surrounding teeth. A cantilever bridge that is stabilized only on one side, for example, may not be a good foundation for more than one pontic. The more teeth that need to be replaced, the better candidate a person may be for an implant-supported bridge.
Recovery After Dental Bridges
There is minimal recovery needed after getting a dental bridge. How long it takes for swelling and minor discomfort to subside can vary from one person to another. Patients who smoke tend to take a little longer to fully heal from the preparation of anchor teeth and extractions, if any were performed. Typically, patients start off eating softer foods following dental bridge treatment. Within about 10 days, however, the new structure should feel comfortable and stable enough to slowly add in foods that are normally enjoyed. If the jaw or gums feel sore after the dental bridge is seated, over-the-counter pain medication can be taken as needed.
What Are The Risks of Dental Bridges?
Dental bridge treatment offers far more advantages than risks. A dental bridge replaces missing teeth and restores an attractive appearance to the smile. A well-fitting bridge also reinstates function for proper chewing and speaking. With a bridge in place, there is very little chance that surrounding teeth will shift. Being fixed to natural teeth or implants, bridges are also stable enough to feel like natural teeth.
Compared to these advantages, the potential downside of dental bridge treatment is that the restoration does not fit as it should. This can result in decay beneath a crown that holds the bridge. It is also somewhat of a disadvantage that a bridge involves the reduction of healthy teeth to accommodate placement. If supporting teeth are not strong enough, the bridge could fail.
Dr. Konig seeks to help patients achieve their best smiles and optimal oral health through personalized dental care. Dental bridges have successfully restored function and appearance for many people. However, this treatment may not be ideal for everyone. Our patients can expect to receive a recommendation for treatment only when it can achieve outstanding results.
Dental Bridges - Before & After
Is The Dental Bridge Procedure Painful?
It does not hurt to get a dental bridge. Even if you need to have an unhealthy tooth extracted, you can expect your experience to be comfortable. With or without extraction, dental bridge treatment is performed using a local anesthetic that numbs the area of the mouth being addressed. This may only be needed to complete the first stage of care, during which the anchor teeth are reduced. When the bridge is seated, an anesthetic may not be necessary.
Are Dental Bridges Safe?
Dental bridge treatment has been one of the most common forms of tooth replacement for many years. This procedure is non-invasive and nonsurgical. The technique is streamlined and carefully performed to preserve as much natural tooth structure as possible. There is very little risk of complications from this restorative process.