Dental Bridges in Huntsville, AL

In Alabama, more than half of adults have had a permanent tooth extracted, and 41% of adults aged 65 and older have lost six or more teeth because of gum disease or decay. Tooth loss profoundly affects our ability to maintain our normal routines. Gaps from missing teeth can lead to difficulties eating and speaking and impact self-confidence. Fortunately, there are many treatments for missing teeth that restore your smile and the full function of your bite, including dental bridges.

We offer tooth restoration procedures like dental bridges at Chase Family Dentistry in Huntsville, AL. If you need to replace a missing tooth or teeth, a bridge can be a great option.

What Are Dental Bridges?

Dental Bridges in Huntsville, AL | Chase Family DentistryA dental bridge is a false tooth—also called a pontic—that is attached to the teeth next to it. Typically, crowns are connected to each side of the pontic. We cement the crowns to the healthy teeth adjacent to the gap, which supports the bridge.

We might recommend a dental bridge if you have one or more missing teeth because of:

  • Tooth decay
  • Gum disease
  • Injury 

There are various types of dental bridges. We can help you choose the one that best suits your needs.

Traditional Dental Bridge

The traditional dental bridge is the most frequently-used option. It is a good choice if you have healthy natural teeth around the gap you want to bridge. Crowns are attached to these teeth to hold the pontic in place. Traditional dental bridges are crafted from porcelain fused to metal, metal, or ceramic material. 

Cantilever Dental Bridge

The cantilever dental bridge functions similarly to a traditional bridge. However, only one neighboring tooth is required to hold the pontic in place. A cantilever dental bridge can be a good option if you have only one healthy natural tooth next to a missing tooth.

Maryland Dental Bridge

The Maryland dental bridge requires two healthy teeth on either side of the pontic but does not rely on crowns to hold the tooth in place. Instead, it uses a framework of metal or porcelain that bonds to the back of the neighboring teeth.

Implant-Supported Dental Bridge

An implant-supported dental bridge uses dental implants to hold the false tooth in place. For people who are missing multiple teeth, this procedure can help them regain their full smile.

We place mini dental implants in the areas where there are missing teeth, and these implants hold the entire bridge in place. The implant-supported dental bridge is the sturdiest and most reliable method for replacing missing teeth.

Benefits of Dental Bridges

Dental bridges effectively restore your smile and boost your confidence with a natural-looking set of teeth. One significant benefit of bridges is that they enhance speech clarity. Since your tongue interacts with your teeth to produce certain sounds, missing teeth can lead to lisps and other speech difficulties. By filling these gaps, dental bridges function just like your natural teeth, aiding in clear and effortless speech.

Chewing efficiency also improves with dental bridges. Missing teeth can weaken your bite and make it challenging to enjoy certain foods. Additionally, gaps from missing teeth can cause your natural teeth to shift, sometimes resulting in discomfort while chewing. Bridges keep your remaining teeth in their positions to maintain bite alignment.

Implant-supported dental bridges offer the added benefit of preventing jawbone loss. Your jawbone receives stimulation from the roots of your teeth, so when you have missing teeth, it does not receive the stimulation it needs to remain healthy and keep building bone cells. Over time, this can lead to bone loss. Titanium posts in implant-supported bridges replicate the function of natural tooth roots, providing necessary stimulation to your jawbone. As a result, implant-supported bridges preserve your facial structure and ensure full jaw functionality.

Preparing for Dental Bridges

At Chase Family Dentistry, we begin with a comprehensive assessment during your free consultation. This may include digital X-rays to help us determine the best type of dental bridge for your needs. We will also ask about your medical history and any medications or supplements you currently take.

This consultation is your opportunity to express any concerns and ask questions so that you feel comfortable with the upcoming procedure. We also provide guidance on payment options to ease financial worry. In addition to accepting most major dental insurance plans, we also provide financing through third-party lenders. These flexible payment plans enable you to pay for your treatment in monthly installments.

Dental Bridge Procedures

To keep you comfortable throughout your procedure, we will apply a local anesthetic. You shouldn’t feel any pain when getting a dental bridge.

The next step for a traditional bridge is preparing the neighboring teeth for the crowns that will hold the false tooth in place. We will usually have to remove some of the enamel so that the crowns can fit. 

If you opt for an implant-supported dental bridge, we will place mini dental implants to prepare for the bridge. 

Once the teeth or implants are prepared, you may need to wear a temporary bridge as we wait for the lab to make your customized bridge. This typically takes two to three weeks.

Aftercare for Dental Bridges

Recovery time varies based on the type of bridge you receive. Implant-supported bridges require a longer healing period for the implant sites.

Generally, it takes about two weeks to adjust to a new dental bridge. For any discomfort, over-the-counter painkillers and ice packs can be helpful. Be cautious with extreme temperatures in food and drinks, as your teeth may be sensitive.

As you heal, you should maintain a gentle but thorough oral hygiene routine. If you are not sure what kind of products to use, we can recommend the best options. To prolong the life of your bridge, brush twice daily using a soft-bristled brush and fluoride toothpaste, and be sure to clean under the bridge. Daily flossing and rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash are also crucial for minimizing bacteria and plaque buildup. We also recommend a water flosser for meticulous cleaning around the bridgework.

With implant-supported bridges, you can enjoy your favorite foods without restrictions once healed. For other bridge types, limit your consumption of hard, chewy, or sticky foods that could damage or dislodge the bridge.

If you smoke, consider quitting to prevent gum disease, which can complicate the longevity of your dental bridge.

Finally, regular dental cleanings at Chase Family Dentistry are vital for monitoring your oral health and promptly addressing any new concerns.

Turn to Our Team in Huntsville

Missing teeth can impact your speech, diet, and self-esteem. At Chase Family Dentistry, we’re dedicated to helping you reclaim your smile. Dr. Lindalee Clayton has extensive experience in dental bridges and other restorative procedures. She also uses the latest technology and techniques to provide skilled, compassionate care.

Contact Chase Family Dentistry in Huntsville, AL, today to schedule your free consultation and embark on your journey to a renewed smile.

Frequently Asked Questions

The cost of a dental bridge procedure will vary depending on the type of bridge you choose. For example, an implant-supported bridge may have a higher initial cost than a traditional one, but it can last longer and offer additional benefits. The specific cost can also vary based on the materials used and the number of teeth replaced.

If you are concerned about costs, we will help you maximize your dental insurance coverage. We can also assist you in choosing a flexible financing plan so that you can afford treatment without breaking the bank.

Dental bridges are fixed prosthetics, meaning they are permanently attached and not removable. On the other hand, partial dentures are designed to be removable.

One drawback of a traditional dental bridge is the need to alter adjacent healthy natural teeth to support the prosthetic. This alteration isn’t reversible as enamel does not regenerate. Additionally, traditional bridges can place additional pressure on the supporting natural teeth, which could lead to further dental issues in the future.

Implant-supported bridges eliminate these concerns since they rely on mini dental implants instead of natural teeth for support.

Yes, dental bridges are designed to feel like real teeth. They are custom-made to fit comfortably in your mouth and are matched in color to your natural teeth, providing a seamless and natural feel. Over time, most people find they adapt well to their bridge, experiencing feel and function comparable to their original teeth.