At Sorgen Dentistry, we believe every person deserves a smile they truly feel proud to show off. As a leading dentist serving the greater Oklahoma City, OK community, we’re proud to help our patients improve their smiles through a variety of high-quality general, restorative, and cosmetic dental treatments. While we strive to focus on preventive care at our practice, there are times when a tooth needs to be replaced due to dental decay, trauma, or an extraction. And in those cases, dental bridges provide an effective, affordable, and lifelike option for tooth replacement.
Every tooth in your smile plays a critical role in speech, eating, and maintaining the proper alignment of your smile, and even one missing tooth can cause significant problems over time. While tooth loss is usually avoidable with strong oral hygiene, there are a number of issues that can lead to losing a tooth – some of them beyond a patient’s control.
Dental bridges offer a convenient, lifelike option for replacing missing teeth. A dental bridge involves attaching an artificial tooth, called a pontic, to two adjacent crowns, called abutments. The crowns keep the pontic firmly in place and support your new replacement tooth. Dental bridges are then permanently attached.
We can use dental bridges to replace most teeth in the mouth, and there are three primary types of bridges used for different dental situations. Types of dental bridges include:
All fixed bridges are a form of fixed partial denture, in that they use one or more artificial teeth to replace missing teeth, but not the entire smile. As the name implies, fixed bridges are fixed in place with strong dental cement and can only be removed by a dentist. Removable bridges, similar to removable dentures, can be taken out of the mouth and cleaned. While this is convenient for some patients, fixed bridges are generally stronger and more stable than removable bridges.
If you’re missing a tooth or need to have a tooth replaced, it’s critical to get a replacement tooth right away. Missing teeth can cause problems in orthodontic alignment, speech issues, problems with bite function, gum disease, bone loss, and a variety of other problems.
Dental bridges are an effective way to replace teeth and prevent these problems from progressing. Bridges are convenient, cost-effective, and can be made to perfectly match your existing teeth. However, they’re not your only option: you may also consider dental implants to replace missing teeth.
Bridges generally take 2 to 3 appointments to fully complete, depending on the complexity of the case. During the first appointment, your OKC cosmetic dentist, Dr. Bryan Sorgen, will carefully clean the area and prepare the adjacent teeth for crowns by reshaping them and removing some of the enamel and dentin. Dr. Sorgen will then take impressions of the two supporting teeth before placing a temporary bridge to wear before your next appointment.
Our dental bridges are most commonly made from porcelain (ceramic) material, so they have to be carefully sculpted in a lab to perfectly fit your teeth and ensure a correct bite. We’ll use the impressions we take at the first appointment to custom-manufacture your own dental bridge, a process that usually takes up to 3 weeks.
When your permanent bridge is ready, we’ll bring your back in for a second appointment to remove the temporary bridge, ensure your permanent bridge fits perfectly, and cement it into place. Once the dental cement dries, you’ll have a beautiful new smile!
We can create bridges from a variety of materials, including:
The most common material for a bridge is either all porcelain or porcelain fused to metal, but we can craft a bridge from any of the materials above to suit your unique needs.
Caring for your bridge is important, but thankfully, it’s easy. Just treat your bridge like a normal tooth: maintain strong oral hygiene by brushing and flossing your teeth daily. With proper care, your bridge will last for many years to come.
Dental bridges provide a simple, realistic, and cost-effective option for replacing missing teeth, and whether you’re replacing one or multiple teeth, we can use bridges to help you restore your beautiful, healthy smile. Feel free to call us at 405.946.5198 if you have more questions about dental bridges, or simply request an appointment online if you’d like to schedule a consultation. We can’t wait to hear from you, and we’re excited to help you reclaim a complete smile!