When one or more teeth are missing, the appearance and function of your smile may be adversely affected. A dental crown or bridge can solve these issues by replacing missing teeth.
Missing teeth can cause:
- Bite disturbances (malocclusion)
- Teeth shifting
- Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) and its painful symptoms
- Speech difficulties
- Increased risk for periodontal (gum) disease
- Increased risk for tooth decay
Types of Dental Bridges
The dental bridge is "fixed". This means it is not removable after placement inside the mouth. Three types of dental bridges are:
- Conventional bridge – requires shaping of the two natural teeth next to the missing tooth. A porcelain crown is placed on each shaped tooth. The two crowns are attached to an artificial tooth, called a pontic.
- Cantilever bridge – similar to a conventional bridge except it is done when there is no neighboring tooth on one side of the gap. The two teeth on the other side are crowned and then support the pontic.
- Resin-bonded bridge – usually replaces missing front teeth and requires healthy gums and the absence of extensive dental fillings in adjacent teeth.
The Dental Bridge Procedure
Our dentists in Dubuque, Iowa are experts in creating healthy, beautiful, natural-looking smiles. Dr. Ted Murray, Dr. Kristen Berning, and Dr. Alexia Oetken offer the very latest cosmetic dentistry techniques and procedures, including dental bridges, to ensure a beautiful smile and excellent dental function.
Placement of your dental bridge requires two office visits.
- First Visit
- The health of your gums and teeth are thoroughly examined to determine your candidacy for a dental bridge. Placement begins with a local anesthetic to numb the area and prepare your teeth to support the bridge. If decay or fractures are found in the support teeth, these will require care before the bridge can be placed.
- A putty-like material is used to take an impression of the prepared teeth, and the impression is sent to the dental laboratory, with photographs and other data. Your bridge is custom-fabricated to fit snugly and securely.
- Dr. Murray, Dr. Berning, or Dr. Oetken will fit you with a temporary bridge to protect your teeth and gums from damage during this waiting period.
- Second Visit
- Your new bridge is fitted and when you and Dr. Ted Murray, Dr. Berning, or Dr. Oetken are both satisfied with it. Then they will cement it in place with a special dental bonding material.
Caring for Your Dental Bridge
If you practice good at-home oral care and come for regular checkups and dental cleanings, your new dental bridge can last as long as ten to twenty years.
If missing teeth are keeping you from smiling, please contact our friendly family dental office online or by phone at 563-552-2711 to schedule your consultation. Exceptional Dentistry serves the communities of Dubuque, Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Iowa and Galena, Illinois.