Missing teeth can detract from both the appearance and function of your bite. In these cases, doctors can often use a dental bridge to restore strength and aesthetic appeal to your smile. A dental bridge is an extremely common restorative treatment that uses artificial teeth to fill in gaps and improve your oral health. With proper care, bridges can last for many years. Experienced dentist Dr. John F. Rink offers patients with missing teeth both traditional and implant-supported dental bridges at his Charleston, SC, practice. To learn more about the benefits of dental bridges and your candidacy, contact our office to schedule an appointment.
As the first step in the traditional dental bridge procedure, Dr. Rink will reshape your surrounding teeth to prepare them for dental crowns. Next, he will take an impression of the treatment area, which he will send to his dental lab for custom fabrication of the bridge. Since the fabrication process can take a week or two, Dr. Rink will place a provisional bridge to act as a temporary replacement and protect your reshaped teeth. When the bridge is permanent bridge is ready, you will return to Dr. Rink’s office to have it anchored in place.
The procedure for an implant-supported bridge is more complex. First you will need to undergo dental implant surgery and then wait for the healing process to be complete, which can take several months. Once you are fully recovered, Dr. Rink will use abutments (connectors) to attach the custom-made bridge to your implants.
Dental bridges offer patients with missing teeth an effective and trusted treatment option. They have many benefits and certain risks. Bridges are custom restorations used to replace up to three consecutive missing teeth in a row. Traditional bridges are anchored by dental crowns on each end of the restoration. This type of bridge is minimally invasive and available with very few restrictions. Dr. Rink also offers implant-supported bridges. With implant-supported bridges, the restoration is secured by surgically embedded implant posts, providing patients with an unparalleled level of stability. Implant-supported bridges also maintain the structural integrity of the adjacent teeth.
Both traditional and implant-supported bridges offer patients significant aesthetic and practical benefits, so they can eat, speak, and smile with confidence. Bridges restore the ability to bite and chew properly, while also preventing the surrounding teeth from moving out of position. Additionally, thanks to new dental technology, today’s dental bridges are virtually indistinguishable from your natural teeth.
Nearly anyone who is missing one to three consecutive teeth is a candidate for a traditional dental bridge. If you are missing more teeth, you may be better suited to a larger restoration, such as a partial or full denture. Ideal candidates for a traditional bridge will have structurally sound teeth that are free from decay on both sides of the gap, since these will serve as the foundation for the restoration. In order to qualify for an implant-supported bridge, the patient must already have fully integrated dental implants.
During a consultation, Dr. Rink will review your medical records and conduct a complete exam to help determine the most effective restorative treatment for you, such as deciding between a traditional or implant-supported bridge. If your doctor has deemed you a good candidate for a dental bridge, he will take detailed impressions of your teeth. Technicians at an offsite laboratory will use this information to fabricate your custom bridge, matching it to the size, shape, and color of your natural teeth as closely as possible. While your custom bridge is being created over the course of a few weeks, you will be provided with a temporary restoration. Once your permanent bridge is completed, you will return to the office to have it placed. After this appointment, you can enjoy a smile with restored strength and visual appeal.
Dr. Rink blends art and science to help patients achieve beautiful restorative and cosmetic results. If missing teeth are affecting your confidence and oral function, dental bridges may offer a safe and effective solution. To learn whether you can benefit from a dental bridge, contact our office today.