A dental bridge is a tooth restoration used to replace one or a few missing teeth. Tooth loss can be caused by tooth decay, dental trauma, gum disease, or a tooth may need to be extracted because the tooth is unable to be saved.
This leaves your mouth vulnerable to shifting teeth, changes to your facial structure, difficulty chewing and speaking, and gaps in your smile. A dental bridge is a fixed tooth replacement that can solve these problems by replacing the missing tooth. Contact us at Hlavaty Dental Arts today to schedule a consultation.
Dr. Hlavaty will examine your teeth and take x-rays to determine if a dental bridge is a suitable treatment to replace your missing tooth or teeth.
A local anesthetic will be administered to prevent pain sensation during your treatment. You may also be a candidate for additional sedation if desired.
Two of the abutment teeth which are adjacent to the gap will receive dental crowns. To prepare teeth for dental crowns, we need to remove a small amount of tooth structure to create enough room for the crowns to fit over the teeth.
After preparing the teeth, a physical impression or digital scans will be taken off your teeth and sent to a dental lab.
Your teeth impressions are used to create a mold of your teeth to fabricate a custom-made dental bridge. This will consist of a pontic tooth that is connected to two dental crowns.
After etching the teeth, the dental crowns will be bonded to the abutment teeth with dental cement. A pontic tooth in the middle will be suspended in the gums.
A traditional dental bridge places two dental crowns over the abutment teeth that are located on either side of the gap and suspend a pontic tooth between them, which fills the empty space. While this is the most popular type of bridge, it requires two healthy existing teeth on both sides of the gap.
If you only have one supporting tooth next to the gap, then this tooth will receive a dental crown and a pontic tooth will be attached to it. A cantilever bridge only has one tooth acting as the anchor for the bridge and is used when only one natural tooth exists next to the missing tooth.
Also referred to as a resin-bonded bridge, this is a bridge that uses two abutment teeth to anchor the bridge but rather than cementing dental crowns to them, the pontic tooth is connected through a metal wire framework that is bonded to the back of the teeth and contains wings that extend behind the abutment teeth. This may be used to replace missing front teeth.
An implant-supported bridge is the same design as a traditional bridge but instead of two dental crowns anchoring the bridge, these teeth are replaced with dental implants. This is recommended if the teeth do not provide enough support or if these teeth have also been lost.
Many patients struggle with gum disease, and if left untreated, can risk losing their teeth and other problems. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease, and is the only stage that can actually be reversed with deep cleanings and attentive at-home hygiene. If you have gum disease, keeping up with your regular cleanings and checkups will help you gain control over your oral health before it’s too late!
For patients with more advanced stages of periodontitis, we recommend scheduling deep cleanings at more frequent intervals, usually every three to four months. Although the effects of advanced gum disease can’t be reversed, deep cleanings, scaling, and root planing can halt the progression of periodontitis and help preserve your oral health.
Oral cancer screenings are an important part of every preventive care visit. Catching oral cancer in its early stages allows us to stop it before it spreads, and can save your life. That’s why we’ll always check for signs of oral cancer at every preventive visit.
Your dentist will examine your oral tissues, like your gums and tongue, keeping an eye out for abnormalities like lesions, lumps, discolorations. If we find anything unusual, we’ll take a biopsy and send it out to a specialist for a thorough analysis. Although oral cancer isn’t overly common, it’s important to remain proactive and consistent with your oral healthcare routine, so we can identify any issues before they become major problems.
Teeth grinding and clenching while sleeping is a common issue faced by many patients. Night guards are a great solution for this unconscious clenching, also known as bruxism. Night guards form a soft barrier that protects your teeth from damage caused by the pressure of clenching and grinding. Your dentist will take an impression or a scan of your teeth and gums to create a unique mold that will be sent to a dental lab, where your night guard will be custom-crafted. Night guards work by easing the tension in your jaw, alleviating the painful headaches and other side effects of clenching and grinding, so you can get the sleep you need and keep your teeth from wearing down.
Sports mouth guards are worn over the teeth, just like night guards. However sports guards are designed specifically to protect your smile from dental injuries that are so common when playing high-intensity impact sports. Custom-fitted sports guards can help protect athletes from oral trauma caused by collisions to the mouth, face, and head. If you play football, basketball, baseball, soccer, rugby, hockey, gymnastics, mountain biking, or other activities that put you at risk for injury due from falls, body contact, or flying objects, ask us about getting fitted for a custom sports guard today! Tailored to fit your unique smile, sports guards are comfortable, durable, and won’t stop you from playing the sports you love.
It’s important to replace missing teeth to avoid chewing and speaking difficulties as well as cosmetic disturbance to the smile. A bridge will fill in gaps, make chewing and speaking easier, and prevent certain bone loss side effects like shifting teeth.
It also adds additional support to the facial muscles. A bridge is similar to a partial denture, except that it is not removable and can only replace consecutive teeth.