Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you; missing teeth should have no part in that. Drs. Alan and Yonatan Howard can transform your teeth and create a beautiful smile people will remember.

What are Dental Bridges?

dental-bridge-implant-page-300x225Dental bridges are used to “bridge” gaps in your smile caused by missing teeth. They fill the vacant space using a false tooth which is attached to crowns on both sides of that false tooth. The dentist will make molds of the teeth first in order to create the perfect crowns and false tooth for your unique smile. The adjacent teeth will be prepared by one of our skilled dentists to securely place the crowns. Dental bridges can greatly transform the smile of patients who have missing teeth and restore confidence.

At other dental offices, preparing and placing a bridge takes several visits. However, at The Dental Office of Encino, the turnaround time for a custom-made bridge is usually just one day. Schedule a consultation with one of our highly-skilled dentists and take the first step to determining if a dental bridge is right for you. Drs. Howard and Howard are committed to providing each patient with exceptional, stress-free dental care.

Do I Need a Dental Bridge?

Cosmetic dental surgery not only improves a patient’s appearance, it benefits their overall health. Gaps between teeth allow for movement of other teeth which can cause misalignment of the bite. Misalignment leads to chipping, cracking, or other damage to surrounding teeth. Missing teeth can also give rise to issues such as TMJ, migraines, and gum disease. Not to mention it negatively impacts a patient’s self-confidence.

If you have a gap in your smile, the dentists may recommend a dental bridge procedure be performed in their Encino, California office. Here are just a few benefits of a dental bridge:

  • Enhanced smile
  • Restored ability to chew and speak properly
  • Retained facial and jawline structure
  • Evenly distributed bite
  • Prevention of tooth drift or tooth chipping

Dental bridges can dramatically increase a patient’s appearance and self-confidence. The Dental Office of Encino can provide you with the beautiful smile you desire and deserve. This is backed by our dentists many years of experience, education, and in-depth knowledge of the latest dental techniques. Schedule a consultation today to determine if you are a good candidate for a dental bridge.

Types of Dental Bridges

Achieve your desired smile with one of the many types of dental bridges available among a variety of advanced placement techniques. The bridge and technique chosen vary from patient to patient based on where the missing tooth is located, surrounding bone density, and extent of area correction needed. During the consultation, Drs. Alan and Yonathan Howard will create a tailored dental plan specific to your needs. Different types of dental bridges include:

Traditional Bridge

The Traditional Dental Bridge has standard crowns that surround a pontic, or false tooth. The pontic tooth is secured in place when the crowns are placed on the surrounding teeth. The surrounding abutment teeth will be prepared before placing the crows for secureness. This is used for gaps anywhere in the mouth other than directly next to a molar.

Cantilever Bridge

The Cantilever Bridge is a less common method but still used when necessary. A prosthetic tooth is positioned in the open space and attached to only one of the adjoining teeth. This is done when the missing teeth are located in the back of the mouth because Cantilever Bridges are not recommended for molars. To create enough structure and provision for the implant, the supporting tooth has a crown placed over it. The drawback from this type of bridge is that there is less support for the new implant compared to the traditional bridge.

Resin Bonded Bridge (Maryland Bonded Bridge)

The Resin Bonded Bridge, also known as the Maryland Bonded Bridge, places a dental prosthetic in the open space. But instead of attaching crowns to the adjacent teeth, resin wings are cemented to the back of the adjacent teeth, keeping the pontiac in place. The addition of resin wings limits modification needed to the adjacent teeth. This is a large benefit because, in the case of an unforeseen failure, the wings would simply separate from the back of the adjacent teeth. With a Traditional Bridge, this may damage the abutment teeth.

Implant Supported Bridge

Implant Supported Dental Bridges benefit patients who have more than one missing tooth. A dental implant is connected to two crowns, then surgically attached into the jaw where the open space is. This offers great support and lasting results.

Depending on the condition of the adjacent teeth and the location of the missing tooth, a dental bridge may be recommended to fix the patient’s smile. At the consultation, Dr. Alan or Yonathan Howard will create a custom dental plan to improve the appearance and health of your smile. Say goodbye the discomfort, embarrassment, and health issues related to missing teeth. Contact The Dental Office of Encino to schedule a consultation.

Consultation

During the initial consultation, Drs. Alan and Yonathan Howard perform a routine dental exam in order to establish current oral hygiene, teeth placement, and assess overall dental care needs. The dentist may order X-rays to check bone structure and integrity. In cases where an issue is present regarding bone strength and bone density, an alternative dental procedure or solution may be recommended. While this process can require repeat visits at other dental offices, but at The Dental Office of Encino, you can have the finished dental bridge as soon as one day.

After the dentist determines that the patient is a good candidate for a dental bridge, they will discuss various treatment options to meet your specific dental needs.

The location and size of the gap, the surrounding teeth structure, and the measure of bone density are contributing factors in determining the best course of action for the specific case. Our goal at The Dental Office of Encino is to make sure you are fully informed about the procedure, exactly what it entails, and leave our office happy.

Procedure

The timeline and exact details of the procedure will vary according to the type of dental bridge and technique used.

First, there will be an exam of the mouth and teeth area. Our dentists will take an impression of your teeth to be used as a base to design your customized dental bridge. The dentist numbs the treatment area before the procedure for patient comfort throughout the bridge placement process. If the individual case is extensive and requires multiple visits, the dentist will place a temporary dental implant in the gap as the bridge is designed and molded.

The dentist will install the agreed upon dental bridge using the treatment plan created during the consultation. In most cases, the abutment teeth are first prepared. This entails gently shaving the tooth down to just the right size where a crown can snugly fit over it. The crowns are then placed, securing the pontic in place. If an Implant Bridge is used, the dentist will make a tiny incision in the gum of the open space and place a titanium dental implant rod. The doctor will then place the dental pontic on the implant rod in the gap while attaching to the neighboring teeth with crowns.

Our dentists are committed to a stress-free dental experience and will tailor a dental plan to meet your specific needs. If you are missing a tooth and feel that you need a dental bridge, contact our Southern California office to schedule a meeting with one of our dentists.

Recovery

The recovery time after dental bridge placement is based on the bridge and technique used, the patient’s health, and the extent of work completed.

After the procedure, the numbing agent wears off and the patient can return to their normal daily activities. The dentist will send you home with pain medication as needed and antibiotics to keep the surgical site healthy and infection free. Patients will also be sent home with custom aftercare instructions.

Dental bridge patients may experience some tenderness and sensitivity of the treatment site in the days following the dental bridge placement, but this is normal and will subside quickly. Patients are asked to follow up with our office for a routine check up to make sure the treatment area is healing well. Sensitivity of the area may heighten when eating certain hot and cold foods, but a list of food and drinks to initially avoid will be provided.

The healing process is quick. For an Implant Bridge, healing can take a few months during which the dental implant fuses securely to the bone and the placement settles in. It is important for patients to keep scheduled follow-up appointment during which the dentist can track placement and healing progress. It is also important for patients to maintain good oral health by brushing and flossing twice a day. Dental bridge procedures are common and have many benefits. Contact our office to schedule a consultation to determine if a dental bridge is right for you.