Missing teeth affect not only your speech and ability to eat, but also your self-esteem. Many of our patients are embarrassed by their missing teeth. Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you. When you are missing one or more teeth, you smile less freely and often experience feelings of insecurity. Missing teeth impact the healthy teeth in your mouth, causing teeth to shift, crowding, gaps, and bone loss. These dental issues are not only detrimental to the structure of your gums and teeth, but also your smile’s beauty. One of our biggest joys is seeing the happy, confident smiles brightening the faces of our patients who have undergone a smile restoration. A dental bridge is a treatment that can effectively restore your smile if you are missing teeth.
Good Candidates for Dental Bridges
Most patients who are missing one or more of their teeth are good candidates for dental bridges. Patients who have teeth surrounding the gap left by the missing tooth that are sufficiently strong and healthy enough to support a dental bridge are excellent candidates for the treatment. However, if you do not have existing teeth, dental implants can be used to support a dental bridge. Chances are that you are a suitable candidate for a dental bridge if you are missing between one and three consecutive natural teeth, and your gums, jawbone, and remaining natural teeth are strong and healthy.
Traditional Dental Bridges
Traditional dental bridges are comprised of one to three artificial teeth supported by a dental crown on either end. The crowns are then affixed to the natural teeth adjacent to the gap created by missing teeth so that the artificial teeth fill – or bridge – the gap. At Smiles on Broadway in Long Island, cosmetic dentist Dr. Salem crafts prosthetic teeth of the highest quality dental materials to ensure that they look and function precisely like natural teeth, in addition to providing a durable, long-lasting solution to the oral health problems that are associated with missing teeth. The only disadvantage of traditional bridges is that they do rely on healthy teeth for support; these healthy teeth must be altered in order to accommodate the crowns that bookend the bridge. Fortunately, there is a highly effective, completely natural-looking alternative for patients that do not have existing teeth that are healthy enough to support a dental bridge.
Simply stated, dental implants provide unparalleled support for dental restorations, including bridges. Dental implants are titanium posts that are placed directly into the jawbone, where they function as artificial tooth roots for crowns, bridges, and dentures. The posts integrate with the bone, essentially becoming part of the patient’s natural anatomy. Once the posts have healed into place, a dental bridge can be attached below the gum line to provide the most secure and natural-looking replacement for missing teeth available.
In order to be a good candidate for implant-supported dental bridges, a patient must have sufficient jawbone to support the implant posts. Because the jawbone begins to degrade once a tooth is lost, some patients must first undergo a bone-grafting procedure in order to restore bone mass. Fortunately, our Long Island dental implants patients do not have to be referred out for any of the surgical stages of implantation. Our dentist is a skilled oral surgeon who can perform both bone-grafting and implant placement surgeries. You’ll be assured of exceptional results from dentist who will be there with you during every phase of your implant procedure, from beginning to end.
Learn More about Dental Bridges
For further information about traditional or implant-supported dental bridges, please contact Smiles on Broadway in Long Island today.