Tooth loss can severely impact not just your smile, but also core functions involving your teeth. A dental bridge can give you your smile back as well as restore functionality.
Dr. Padmaja Yalamanchili of Fairfax Family Dentist in Fairfax, Virginia, uses bridges and crowns to restore your smile and keep it stable in the event you have lost one or more teeth.
Dental bridge types
There are four different types of dental bridges. The type we recommend will depend on what your specific needs are.
- A traditional bridge uses the teeth on either side of a gap to support the bridge
- A cantilever bridge only requires one tooth for support (usually used for a back molar)
- A Maryland bridge can be fixed in place using a metal framework instead of crowns
- A dental implant can support a bridge and restoration to replace one or more teeth
Dr. Yalamanchili completes a thorough evaluation of your teeth, gums, and underlying jawbone before making recommendations for a dental bridge.
4 important benefits of a dental bridge
There are many benefits to having a dental bridge installed.
If the lost tooth is in a noticeable part of your mouth, a dental bridge topped with a realistic crown can give you back a beautiful, even smile. We match the color, shape, and look of your original teeth so no-one will even know you have a bridge and crown installed.
One of the biggest challenges posed by tooth loss is how to keep adjacent teeth from drifting into the gap left behind. Bridges keep your remaining teeth safe and secure in the correct spots, protecting your entire arch of teeth from destabilization.
If you were having trouble chewing or speaking due to missing teeth ,a bridge can give you back the ability to enjoy foods you love and speak clearly again. For most people, a dental bridge means life can go back to what it was before tooth loss.
Accessibility and affordability
Dental implants differ from bridges in that they include a titanium post that replaces the tooth root, stimulating the jawbone and keeping it alive. This prevents additional tooth loss. However, implants can be outside of your budget, or you may have already lost too much bone to secure an implant. In such cases, dental bridges can be the accessible/affordable option.
How long do dental implants last?
With proper care and maintenance, dental bridges can last for fifteen years or more. Eventually, however, they’ll need to be replaced. If there is still sufficient bone in your jaw, a bridge that isn’t supported by implants can then be replaced with an implant-supported one. Alternatively, additional tooth loss or decay may mean choosing dentures instead after your bridge has outlived its usefulness.
If you’re living with tooth loss, consider scheduling a consultation with Dr. Yalamanchili to address your options for tooth replacement, including bridges and crowns. To learn more, call 703-213-5312, or book an appointment online.