Bridging the Gap with Dental Bridges

Missing teeth can be a problem for a number of reasons. Aesthetically, gaps can make patients feel self-conscious. From a health perspective, it can be more difficult to eat in comfort, and missing teeth can lead to more serious concerns such as temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, gum disease, and dental misalignment. To achieve a fuller, healthier smile, Dr. Emma Wu can provide dental bridges. Schedule your consultation at our North Andover, MA, dental practice today.  

How Dental Bridges Work

“Bridges can prevent surrounding teeth from shifting, restore balance to your bite, and help you chew and enunciate properly.”

Dental bridges, sometimes called partial dentures, replace missing teeth. They can be held in place by dental implants or adjacent dental crowns. Bridges can prevent surrounding teeth from shifting, restore balance to your bite, and help you chew and enunciate properly. A typical bridge is comprised of one or more artificial teeth that are held in place by two dental crowns or abutments. The process of creating a dental bridge depends on the support method. 

If you are receiving a traditional bridge, the process begins with the removal of some enamel from the teeth on either side of the gap, in order to accommodate the crowns. Once the teeth have been prepared, impressions of the gap and surrounding teeth will be taken, to guide technicians in our partner lab. The bridge will be crafted to match the color and texture of your surrounding teeth.

Implants provide the added benefit of preventing jawbone atrophy in the absence of tooth roots. If you choose an implant-supported bridge, you will first undergo surgery in which Dr. Wu will place the implant in your jaw. After a healing period of about four to six months, we can take an impression of the implant and surrounding teeth. In both cases, it takes about two weeks to create your permanent bridge. 

Who is a Candidate?

Dental bridges are an effective and affordable treatment for patients missing one or more teeth. However, if you are missing most of your teeth, and if remaining teeth are compromised, you may be a better candidate for dentures.

Bridge candidates should have healthy teeth and gums. Any decay or periodontal health issues will need to be addressed prior to moving forward with placing a dental bridge. During your initial consultation, Dr. Wu will explain which procedure, or combination of procedures, will be best suited to your goals.

What Can I Expect?

With proper care, it is not uncommon for your dental bridge to last more than 10 years. Bridges provide patients with practical and aesthetic benefits that can restore functionality, as well as help promote good oral and overall health. Ultimately, your custom bridge can help you chew efficiently, speak clearly, and smile with pride.

Schedule an Appointment

If you desire a healthier looking smile with a full set of attractive teeth, Dr. Wu can restore the balance, health, and functionality of your smile with a dental bridge. To get started on the path to a happier smile, contact Emma Y. Wu Aesthetic Family Dentistry today.