When Is a Bridge a Good Choice?

 When Is a Bridge a Good Choice?

We’ve all been there. You were having issues with a tooth and should have had it checked out sooner, but life got in the way. Despite your dentist’s best efforts to save it, it was just too far gone and now you need an extraction. Now what?

Should you get dentures, a dental bridge, or a dental implant? Your friend recently got a dental bridge. Will that work for you? 

Tooth replacement treatment options aren’t a “one-size-fits-all” solution, says our own Dr. Meriem Boukadoum at 54th Street Dental. Take a moment as Dr. Boukadoum shares her insights on bridges, so you can decide whether they’re the best treatment option for you.

Why does replacing missing teeth matter?

It’s natural if your first reaction to losing a tooth isn’t how you should replace it, but if you should replace it. The decision to replace missing teeth is personal, but the ramifications of not replacing missing teeth go far beyond aesthetics.

Your teeth team up with your jawbone to help bite, chew, and smash your food, so you can eat a healthy, balanced diet. 

If you can’t chew properly, typically you’ll resort to softer foods, which may not supply your body with the proper nutrients. But it’s more than that. Bone loss and issues of oral health are common outcomes when you don’t replace missing teeth.  

Healthy tooth roots keep your bones healthy 

Remarkably, healthy tooth root structure isn’t just about keeping your teeth firmly planted in your gums. Your teeth’s roots continuously stimulate the bones in your jaw when you chew. Once those tooth roots are gone, the bone melts away, creating that dreaded sunken-face look, which can make you look much older.

Good oral hygiene becomes challenges

Even if one tooth is missing, the other neighboring healthy teeth naturally shift and twist toward the open positions to fill the gap. Misaligned teeth make flossing and brushing properly challenging at best. This scenario sets up a path to tooth decay and gum disease.

Bridges explained

When it comes to replacing missing teeth, chances are you probably know a lot about dentures and have heard about dental implants. Like dentures, bridges have been around for a long time, and have some key applications and advantages that make them good options for many patients.

A bridge is custom made for each patient, and it’s a viable option if you’re missing one or more teeth. Bridges can be removable or fixed in place, and are useful for replacing a row of missing teeth. 

As its name implies, a bridge closes the gap between missing teeth. The bridge closes the gap using artificial teeth, which are suspended between and anchored by two healthy teeth on either side of the gap. 

A two-appointment treatment option

Here at 54th Street Dental, Dr. Boukadoum completes a dental bridge procedure in two appointments.

During the first appointment, she prepares the healthy anchor teeth by removing a thin layer of enamel to make sure the tooth can accommodate the bridge. If you ever had a crown installed, you’re familiar with this step.

Then Dr. Boukadoum makes an oral impression or mold of your mouth and teeth and does some color matching, so that when the bridge is completed, its artificial teeth match your natural teeth. She uploads this data to a dental laboratory, which fabricates your bridge. 

When the bridge comes back from the dental lab, you return to the office for your second appointment, so she can bond the bridge into place. Dr. Boukadoum checks the fit and your bite, and makes any adjustments, if needed.

Closes a gap with quicker treatment time

Unlike dental implants, a bridge isn’t installed into your jawbone, so it doesn’t require a healing and fusing process. As a result, Dr. Boukadoum can complete a bridge procedure in a matter of weeks, as opposed to several months to a year. 

While the treatment time is quicker for bridges, they don’t mitigate the bone loss issue as much as dental implants.

Great solution for missing teeth in less noticeable places

Another factor in deciding about getting a bridge is the area of your mouth that is involved. If you’re missing a tooth that’s not visible when you smile, a bridge may be just the thing to fill that gap.

If you’re missing teeth and want to know if bridges are a good choice for you, contact 54th Street Dental by requesting an appointment online or calling our office in the Midtown West neighborhood of New York City at 212-333-3200.


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