Dental Bridges in Harrisburg, NC
Are you frustrated by the gap in your smile? Are missing teeth causing you undue stress when eating and speaking? If so, dental bridges can help. Dr. David P. Ney, DDS, serves patients in Harrisburg, NC, who are struggling with tooth loss and want to improve their oral health.
Dental bridges provide a solution to one or more missing teeth by filling the gap in your smile with an artificial tooth. A traditional bridge connects the prosthetic tooth to crowns that fit onto natural teeth on either side of the gap.
The Benefits of Bridges
Dental bridges restore your smile, enhance the function of your bite, improve your speech, and help to maintain your oral health:
- Enhance aesthetic appeal: when missing a tooth, you may feel self-conscious and even avoid social activities. Bridges give you a natural-looking smile since they match the appearance of your teeth.
- Strengthen bite force: over time, neighboring teeth will naturally shift toward the gap leading to misalignment that alters and impairs your chewing ability. Bridges stop this from happening, allowing you to retain the force of your bite.
- Improve speech: another benefit of dental bridges is their ability to improve your speech. Speaking clearly requires the proper placement of your lips, tongue, and teeth. When you are missing a tooth, you may struggle to pronounce words. A dental bridge allows you to speak clearly and confidently.
- Maintain oral health: gaps in your mouth make you vulnerable to infection, decay, and even gum disease. Replacing your missing teeth with a dental bridge protects your oral health.
Types of Dental Bridges
Different types of bridges are used for different situations. The type of bridge that you need depends on the number of teeth you have lost, the location of your remaining healthy teeth, and your dental goals:
A traditional bridge is the standard bridge type and the most common option. On each end of the bridge is a crown that fits over your natural teeth; in the middle is an artificial tooth that fills the gap. The traditional bridge is used when there are healthy teeth on both sides of the gap since these teeth provide stability and support for the bridge.
If there is just one healthy tooth on either side of the gap, a cantilever bridge can be used. While similar to a traditional bridge in its appearance, the cantilever bridge is cemented only to a single tooth. Naturally, this puts more pressure on the tooth since it is the only fixture supporting the bridge.
For both traditional and cantilever bridges, your natural tooth must be shaped so the crown can fit securely on top. This requires removing some of the enamel from the support teeth.
Maryland Bonded Bridge
Maryland bonded bridges are the most conservative and least invasive option, typically used to replace front teeth. Rather than attaching to neighboring teeth with crowns, the Maryland bridge is secured using metal wings. This frame is bonded to the back of the teeth adjacent to the gap. Due to this attachment method, Maryland bridges are not recommended for teeth that bear heavy pressure when you chew, such as molars. However, because they don’t require the removal of any healthy enamel, Maryland bridges are particularly beneficial for teenagers and children who are still developing.
Dr. Ney can use mini dental implants to support a bridge when nearby teeth are not healthy enough or if you are missing three or more teeth in a row. Mini dental implants are small titanium screws that are secured into the jawbone. The implant mimics a tooth root and supports a dental appliance, like a bridge. The implant provides long-lasting and durable support for your bridge.
Implant-supported restorations have excellent success rates. According to a 2023 study, patients who opted for implant-supported prosthetics reported high patient satisfaction.
To restore your smile with dental bridges, two visits are typically needed. At your first visit, Dr. Ney will use local anesthesia to numb your gums and ensure you are comfortable. He will remove some enamel to reshape the teeth that will support your bridge. Then, he’ll take impressions so a model can be made of your teeth. At a dental lab, technicians will use the model to construct your restoration. This takes about two weeks. In the meantime, Dr. Ney will place a temporary bridge to protect the area.
At your second visit, Dr. Ney will remove your temporary bridge and place your custom bridge, cementing it permanently to the support teeth.
For an implant-supported bridge, Dr. Ney will place the mini dental implants first. After a short healing period, Dr. Ney can mount your bridge to the implants.
Recovery from a dental bridge procedure depends on the type of bridge used and the number of teeth replaced. The bridge may feel unfamiliar for a week or two, but this is normal and will fade as you adjust to the appliance.
How Long Do Dental Bridges Last?
With proper care, your bridge can last 15 years or longer. Following these guidelines will help maintain the integrity of your bridge for many years:
- Brush twice a day with a soft-bristle toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Avoid whitening toothpaste as it’s too abrasive for your bridge.
- Floss daily to remove food particles so that plaque doesn’t build up under the bridge or around support teeth. Dental picks, floss threaders, and interdental brushes can help clear away debris.
- Do not chew on pens, fingernails, or ice, as they can cause premature damage to the bridge.
- Avoid eating hard or sticky foods that can loosen the bridge.
- Visit Dr. Ney every six months for a check-up and cleaning.
- If something doesn’t feel right with your bridge, be sure to contact Dr. Ney for an exam.
Dental Bridges Fit Your Budget
Replacing missing teeth quickly is important to maintain the integrity of your bite, but financial limitations can cause us to delay necessary dental care. Dental insurance can help cover the cost of your bridge, but financing options are available for patients that don’t have insurance or whose policy does not cover dental bridges. To ensure that our patients receive affordable, high-quality dental care, we partner with three dental financing companies: CareCredit, LendingClub, and Ally. These lenders offer flexible financing options, such as installment loans, to help you maintain your dental and financial health. Many plans even offer 0% introductory rates.
Revitalize Your Smile with a Dental Bridge
Whether you’ve experienced tooth loss due to decay, trauma, age, or another factor, it is likely changing how you eat and speak. The good news is that you don’t have to continue suffering from a painful bite or low self-esteem. Dr. David P. Ney, DDS, uses dental bridges to replace missing teeth, giving you a beautiful, natural-looking smile while restoring the power of your bite. With various options to fit different situations, there is a solution that is right for you. Specializing in implant-supported bridges, Dr. Ney can give you a durable and reliable remedy for the gap in your smile.
Contact us today and schedule a free consultation to learn more about dental bridges, including the highly effective and long-lasting implant-supported bridge.