Dental Bridges in St. Louis
Dental bridges in St. Louis. When your dental smile is in need of improvement, dental bridges may be an option you should consider. Dental bridges are a form of cosmetic dentistry where dental covers are placed over a gap in your tooth. They provide form and security to your teeth and gumline after the loss of a tooth. Dental bridges must be custom-fitted, and they return your smile and jaw health back to their original form. Plaza Dental Center can help you decide if dental bridges are right for you. Speak to a team member today at (314)-361-1818 or contact us online to learn more. We can help you create the exact smile that you want.
What Are Dental Bridges?
When you’ve either lost a tooth or have had a tooth removed, your existing teeth can move to compensate for the loss in your bite. This can cause other complications for your gum health and teeth. One of the most optimal solutions you can seek to remedy this is to have dental bridges inserted over your existing teeth. When you go for a dental bridge, your St. Louis dentist will post caps on the teeth on either side of the gap, called abutment teeth. These crowns anchor the “bridge” that covers over the gap in your teeth. Dental bridges are made of a few different materials:
- Porcelain — Porcelain is a popular material used for dental bridges because it can be color-matched to the surrounding teeth, making it look natural. Porcelain is also resistant to stains and is durable.
- Metal — Metal dental bridges are made from alloys that are strong and durable. They are often used for back teeth that require more strength for chewing.
- Composite resin — Composite resin is a tooth-colored material that is bonded to the remaining teeth to support the bridge. It is not as strong as other materials but can be used for front teeth where aesthetics are important.
- Zirconia — Zirconia is a newer material used for dental bridges that is strong, durable, and has a natural look. It is often used for both front and back teeth.
- Gold — These dental bridges are resistant to wear and erosion, and are easy on your gums. Gold dental bridges also have antibacterial properties.
Types of Dental Bridges in St. Louis
While dental bridges are a common solution to dental problems such as tooth loss, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Your St. Louis dentist will recommend which type is best for you and your specific needs. There are four main types of dental bridges:
- Traditional dental bridges — This type of bridge involves creating a crown for the teeth on either side of the missing tooth, with a pontic (artificial tooth) in between. This is the most common type of dental bridge and is best when there are natural teeth on both sides of the gap.
- Cantilever dental bridges — These are similar to traditional bridges, but they only require one natural tooth or implant to support the pontic. In this case, you only need one natural tooth next to the gap.
- Maryland dental bridges — This type of bridge uses a metal or porcelain framework that is bonded to the back of the teeth on either side of the missing tooth. Wings on each side of the artificial tooth are bonded to the back of the two adjacent natural teeth. This is commonly used when the gap is in your front teeth.
- Implant-supported dental bridges — Rather than being connected to natural teeth, these bridges are supported by dental implants, which are titanium screws that are surgically placed into the jawbone. Implant-supported bridges are common when several teeth in a row are missing. This is a more permanent solution for missing teeth but requires healthy gums and adequate bone density to support the implants.
The type of dental bridge best for you will depend on where in your mouth the gaps in the teeth are and any other dental work your mouth may need. If you’d like to discuss what type may be best for you, request an appointment online to consult with a professional St. Louis dentist.
Procedure for Getting a Dental Bridge in St. Louis
Getting a dental bridge typically involves several steps and may require multiple visits to your St. Louis dentist. Here are the typical steps involved in getting a dental bridge:
- Initial consultation with the dentist — Your dentist will evaluate your dental health and determine if a dental bridge is the best option for you. They will also discuss the different types of dental bridges and help you select the best option for your specific needs.
- Preparation of the teeth for the bridge — If you are getting a traditional or cantilever bridge, the two adjacent teeth will need to be prepared by removing part of the enamel and dentin. This is done to make room for the dental crowns that will be placed over the teeth to support the bridge.
- Impression of the teeth — An impression of the teeth will be taken to create a model for the bridge and pontic. This model is sent to a dental laboratory, where the bridge is custom-made to fit your mouth.
- Temporary bridge — Your St. Louis dentist may place a temporary bridge while your custom bridge is being created in a dental laboratory. This will help protect your teeth and gums until your permanent bridge is ready.
- Fitting and adjustment of the bridge — Once the bridge is made, it will be fitted and adjusted to ensure a proper fit. The dentist may make some minor adjustments to ensure that the bridge feels comfortable in your mouth.
- Follow-up appointments and care — After your dental bridge is placed, you will need to return to your dentist for follow-up appointments to ensure that the bridge is functioning properly and your gums and teeth are healthy.
At Plaza Dental Center in St. Louis, we understand that not everyone loves being in the dentists’ chair, especially for multiple procedures and appointments. That’s why Dr. Joseph Cutrona is especially interested in breaking down barriers and getting apprehensive St. Louis patients the great dental care they need. Whatever your comfort level at the dentist is, we can help.
Benefits of Dental Bridges in St. Louis
When dental bridges are installed by a professional and experienced St. Louis dentist, the structure and function of your teeth will go back to their natural form. There are several benefits to this:
- Improved oral health — Dental bridges can help maintain the natural shape of your face and prevent your remaining teeth from shifting out of position. When you have missing teeth, the remaining teeth can shift out of place, causing problems with your bite and leading to gum disease and tooth decay.
- Improved appearance — Dental bridges offer a smile makeover that can restore your smile and help boost your confidence. They are custom-made to match the color and shape of your natural teeth, so they blend seamlessly into your smile.
- Better ability to chew and speak — Dental bridges can improve your ability to chew and speak properly. When you have missing teeth, it can be difficult to chew your food properly, leading to digestive problems. Dental bridges can restore your ability to chew and speak normally, making it easier to enjoy your favorite foods and communicate with others.
- Preventing further damage to the remaining teeth — Dental bridges can help prevent further damage to your remaining teeth by distributing the pressure evenly. When you have missing teeth, the remaining teeth have to bear more weight when you chew and speak. This can lead to broken teeth like chips, cracks, and other damage. Dental bridges distribute the pressure evenly around your teeth.
How to Care for Your Dental Bridges
With good oral hygiene, most dental bridges can last 10 years or more. However, not taking care of them properly may lead you to need a replacement after just a few short years. Caring for dental bridges is important to maintain their longevity and functionality. Much of the care needed is keeping your natural teeth healthy and strong so they can keep supporting the bridge. Here are some tips for taking care of your dental bridges in St. Louis:
- Brush and floss regularly — You should brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss once a day. Make sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Use a floss threader or interdental brush to clean under the bridge and between the teeth.
- Use a fluoride mouthwash — Rinse your mouth with a fluoride mouthwash after brushing and flossing to help prevent tooth decay.
- Avoid sticky and hard foods — Try to avoid eating sticky or hard foods that can damage your dental bridges. This includes chewy candies, hard nuts, and ice.
- Visit your dentist regularly — You should visit your dentist for regular dental examinations and cleanings and polishings every six months. Your dentist will be able to check the condition of your dental bridges and make any necessary adjustments.
- Consider a nightguard — If you grind or clench your teeth at night, you may need a nightguard to protect your dental bridges and natural teeth from damage.
By following these tips, you can help ensure the longevity and functionality of your dental bridges.
Call Plaza Dental Center for Your Dental Bridges in St. Louis
Missing teeth can cause discomfort, embarrassment, and can even affect a person’s ability to eat and speak properly. Fortunately, dental bridges provide an effective solution to replace one or more missing teeth. If you want to get your functional and beautiful smile back, Plaza Dental Center in St. Louis is here to help. Call us today at (314)-361-1818 or request an appointment online for your dental bridges in St. Louis.