Close Gaps for a Complete, Healthy Smile
A missing tooth can have effects on your smile’s appearance, as well as your chewing and speaking. One of the most reliable ways to close the gap left by a missing tooth is by placing a restoration known as a dental bridge. Individuals looking for dental bridges in the Bronx trust their care to Dr. Robert Steinberger of East Tremont Dental.
Bridges are fixed dental prosthetics that attach to the surrounding natural teeth or dental implants, closing the space where the missing tooth was. They provide the comfort and security of a full set of teeth, and restore the ability to chew confidently and enunciate properly. Bridges also prevent the remaining teeth around the gap from shifting. With the proper care, bridges can last for five to 10 years (or longer!).
Types of Dental Bridges
A traditional bridge is composed of two dental crowns, which are affixed to the teeth (or dental implants) on either side of the gap. In between the crowns is an artificial tooth, called a pontic, which fits into the space. Traditional bridges are the most commonly used type of bridge.
Cantilever bridges are used when there are teeth (or implants) on only one side of the gap to uphold the restoration. With a cantilever bridge, the pontic is supported by a single crown. Although they make it possible for patients who would otherwise not qualify for a bridge to undergo treatment, they are not as strong as traditional bridges.
Picking the Dental Bridge that Is Right for You
Not every type of bridge is suitable for every case. When evaluating you for a dental bridge, Dr. Steinberger will carefully consider what is best for the health, function, structure and stability of your teeth. He will only recommend bridges that support a healthy bite and offer the most stability. For example, cantilever bridges are generally not recommended for back teeth, as they cannot bear the full force of the bite.
The two of you will select the bridge most appropriate for your goals after an in-depth discussion and physical examination.
The Dental Bridge Placement Procedure
Placing a dental bridge normally requires multiple dental visits.
During the first visit, the natural teeth supporting the bridge will be prepared. With a traditional or cantilever bridge, this typically entails removing a small amount of tooth structure to make room for the crowns. Impressions will be made of your prepared teeth and sent to the dental laboratory that will craft the bridge. Dr. Steinberger will place a provisional bridge over your prepared teeth to serve as a placeholder while the permanent bridge is being constructed.
Once the permanent bridge is ready, the second visit will be scheduled. Dr. Steinberger will remove the temporary bridge and place the permanent bridge in your mouth, checking its fit and feel. He can make final adjustments to ensure that the bridge fits precisely. Finally, he will cement the bridge into place, where it should feel very secure and comfortable.
Learn More about Dental Bridges
If you have lost one or more teeth and feel the effects on your speech, chewing and appearance, Dr. Steinberger can help. During an in-person consultation, he can discuss dental bridges and alternative tooth replacement options, and help you select the most appropriate treatment option.