For patients with one or more missing teeth in a row, a dental bridge can serve as a relatively simple and highly effective replacement option. Capable of restoring multiple consecutive missing teeth at once, a custom-crafted dental bridge can complete your smile and add strength to your bite without the need for oral surgery. Cosmetic dentist Victor Oelbaum, DDS offers dental bridges at our Bronx practice for individuals seeking a long-lasting tooth replacement.
What is a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge is a high-quality prosthesis that is used to replace consecutive missing teeth in an upper or lower dental arch. As a prominent restorative dentistry treatment, a dental bridge is custom-designed to fit comfortably in your mouth and appear indistinguishable among surrounding teeth. With a standard fixed dental bridge, the prosthesis is attached to healthy teeth on either side of a gap via dental crowns. These “abutment teeth” are used to anchor the restoration securely in your mouth. Alternatively, a dental bridge can also be rooted into the gumline using dental implants that stand in as a natural tooth root. In the case of both techniques, a dental bridge can seamlessly fill the expanse of an absent space for a natural-looking result.
Dental Bridges vs. Implants
The primary difference between a dental bridge and an implant is the way in which each restoration is secured into place. While a bridge is fastened to dental crowns that are placed atop existing healthy teeth, a dental implant is anchored into the jawbone and meant to replace a natural tooth root, as opposed to solely the visible tooth body. Simply put, a dental bridge is designed to sit above the gumline rather than being inserted into the gum tissue like a dental implant. Because no oral surgery is required to affix a dental bridge, it can be a less invasive treatment process when compared to dental implants. With that said, dental implants typically lead to less jawbone loss than other restoration techniques.
Some patients with multiple missing teeth choose to secure their dental bridge with implants rather than dental crowns, as an implant-supported bridge can minimize the risk of bone volume loss without the invasiveness of replacing each individual missing tooth with a single implant. Implant bridges can also provide a greater degree of security as well as a more natural look and feel than a fixed bridge. In researching the best restorative solution for your missing teeth, our experienced dentists can assess your oral health to help you determine which treatment is ideal for your needs and goals.
What are the Benefits of a Dental Bridge?
Whether fixed or supported by dental implants, a dental bridge can:
- Restore the appearance of your smile
- Improve biting function
- Restore the ability to speak properly
- Distribute the force of your bite equally, thereby decreasing pressure and wear on healthy teeth
- Prevent remaining teeth from shifting out of position, reducing the risk of malocclusion (bad bite) and changes to the facial shape
Dental bridges are custom-fabricated to blend in harmoniously with the rest of your smile. Depending on your needs, treatment for a dental bridge can be incorporated into a full mouth restoration to recover the full integrity of your smile and oral health.
The Dental Bridge Procedure
Before you receive a dental bridge, one of our dentists will meet with you in a consultation to examine your concerns, assess your oral health, and determine whether a bridge is well-suited to fulfill your treatment goals. Once it is confirmed that you can benefit from a dental bridge, your adjacent teeth on either side of the gap will be prepared for dental crown placement. If desired, a local anesthetic can be utilized during this step to increase comfort during treatment. Impressions of your teeth will then be sent to an advanced dental lab for the creation of your dental bridge. After the bridge is designed, our dentists will skillfully position the restoration between your abutment teeth, ensuring it looks natural and fits comfortably within your bite. The bridge is then securely cemented in place using our durable porcelain dental crowns.
How Much Do Dental Bridges Cost?
The price of a dental bridge varies depending on how many pontics (artificial teeth) comprise the bridge. Generally speaking, the cost of a dental bridge can range from $500 to $1,200 per artificial tooth. Factors that may influence your overall expense include:
- The material used to create the bridge
- The technique used to place the bridge (implant-supported vs. crown-supported)
- The complexity of your treatment plan
- The method used to fabricate your dental bridge
Dental bridge treatment costs can also vary by geographic location and the expertise of a dentist. Ultimately, Dr. Oelbaum and his team will provide you with a personalized quote once the details of your treatment plan are determined in a consultation. To ensure dental bridges remain an affordable option for all, our practice accepts dental financing through CareCredit®. This trusted healthcare lending company offers qualified applicants an array of flexible payment plans so they can receive the treatment they desire while accommodating their budgetary concerns. For more information, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our practice.
How Long Do Dental Bridges Last?
Dental bridges can be very long-lasting and provide years of service. However, the success of a dental bridge ultimately depends on how well you care for the restoration and your surrounding teeth. Good oral hygiene habits, such as daily brushing and flossing, regular dental check-ups, and professional cleanings, can extend the usefulness of your dental bridge and prevent decay buildup that may damage the prosthesis. Additionally, taking care to avoid excessive pressure on the bridge—whether from teeth clenching and grinding, or chewing hard foods—can stop unnecessary wear and tear from weakening your restoration.
To learn more about dental bridge treatment at Dr. Victor Oelbaum & Associates, or to schedule a consultation, please contact our practice today.