If you’re missing one or more teeth, a dental bridge fills that gap. The Laughlin Dental team uses these permanent dental devices to restore your complete smile and bite while keeping other teeth from shifting or moving out of alignment.
Do I Need a Dental Bridge?
A bridge is a false tooth or several false teeth supported by two or more crowned natural teeth or implants on either side. The false teeth are pontics, made of alloys, porcelain, gold, or several of these materials. The crowned teeth or implants supporting the bridge are abutment teeth.
Whether you have gaps between your teeth because of extractions, injury, or other reasons, your dentist has the option of installing a bridge. Dental bridges provide many benefits, including:
- Restoring your smile
- Maintaining face shape
- Properly distributing bite forces
- Preventing teeth from moving out of position
Contrary to popular belief, dental bridges make eating easier. In the beginning, we recommend that you eat softer foods and take smaller bites. After they begin to feel normal, you can adjust back to your old eating habits.
Additionally, if your missing teeth cause speech problems, having a bridge improves speech when replacing certain teeth.
Types of Dental Bridges
There are three primary dental bridge types: traditional, Maryland-bonded, and cantilever bridges.
Traditional bridges rely on a crowned tooth or implant on each side where the pontic tooth fills the gap. These are the most common bridges today. The bridge itself is made of ceramic or porcelain fused to metal.
Metal or porcelain wings securely hold Maryland bonded bridges in place on only one side bonded to existing teeth. These bridges are porcelain, porcelain on metal, or a framework of metal or porcelain with plastic teeth and gums.
Less common today, cantilever bridges support a pontic by a crown on only one side of the gap. In most cases, this puts too much strain on the supporting tooth and damages them.
The Dental Bridge Installation Process
At Laughlin Dental, dental bridge installation begins by preparing abutment teeth. This involves removing some enamel and recontouring these teeth. This provides room for a fitted crown over these teeth to support the bridge.
Next, we’ll make an impression of your teeth, providing a model that we’ll use to craft your bridge and pontic. While you wait for your permanent bridge to arrive, the dentist makes a temporary one, protecting your teeth and gums.
During your next visit, the dentist removes your temporary bridge and checks your new bridge for fit. The dentist adjusts it, sometimes over multiple dental visits, before permanently cementing it into place. Once properly fitted, aligned and cemented into place, your bridge lasts 10–15 years or longer in some cases.
Dental Bridges and Crowns in the Houston Area
For residents of Houston, Pasadena, Deer Park and Pearland, Laughlin Dental in Pasadena provides dental bridges, crowns, and other dental services, including:
Every member of your family is welcome at Laughlin Dental by Lloyd Laughlin, DDS, and his professional dental team. Through family dentistry, you and every member of your family receive dental care you need in one convenient location.
Whether a bridge or other treatments are the right solutions for your needs, the professionals of Laughlin Dental want to be your dental team. For your healthiest, most attractive smile and winning smiles for all members of your family, call Laughlin Dental now at 281-864-0996.