Dental Bridges in Phoenix, AZ
Whether it’s the obvious gap in your smile or the difficulty you have chewing your food, missing teeth are a real problem. If you’d like to replace a missing tooth and dental implants aren’t an option, the best solution for you may be a customized dental bridge created at Dental Care at Moon Valley.
Also referred to as a fixed bridge when it’s cemented in place, this restoration “bridges” the gap left when a tooth is missing. A dental bridge typically consists of crowns on the teeth on either side of the missing tooth, which connect to an artificial tooth (pontic) in between.
When we create your customized bridge, the teeth on either side of the empty space are prepared for placement of the bridge. These teeth must be strong enough to support the chewing pressures for both themselves and the artificial teeth they are attached to. Bridges can be made of porcelain, porcelain-fused-to-metal, or gold. For esthetic reasons, we most often choose natural-looking porcelain.
Advantages of Bridges
When replacing a missing tooth, a bridge offers several advantages:
- The artificial tooth restores your ability to eat normally
- Replacement teeth are fixed in place (not removable)
- The bridge supports adjacent teeth, reducing the risk of movement
- Bridges may be less expensive than implants in the short term
However, there are some things you need to consider when choosing a dental bridge to replace a tooth. First, we must modify the shape of healthy neighboring teeth, compromising some structure. Secondly, since the bridge relies on adjacent teeth for support, excess stress is placed on these teeth. Finally, if an anchor tooth decays, we’ll need to replace the entire bridge. If you’re worried that any of these will be a problem for you, one of our doctors will be happy to talk to you about the option of using dental implants instead.
How We Place Dental Bridges
Like crowns, placing a dental bridge usually requires two appointments. During the first appointment, the anchoring teeth are prepared and reshaped to accommodate the crowns. Next, we take an impression of the prepared teeth that will be used to produce your new crown. Meanwhile, we’ll provide you with a temporary bridge or crown to cover and protect the prepared teeth.
Once the lab completes the bridge, we’ll have you return to our Phoenix dental office to have your temporaries removed. One of our doctors will expertly fit the permanent bridge, make adjustments as necessary, and cement the final crown securely into place.
If you have missing teeth and want to discuss your options to replace them, the team at Dental Care at Moon Valley will be happy to assist you in making the choice that is best for you. Please give us a call and we’ll be happy to work with you to arrange a convenient appointment.