Bridges and Implant Retained Bridges

At Value Dental Center Queen Creek, we offer many options to replace missing teeth, including traditional bridges and implant retained bridges. If you’ve lost a tooth to trauma, infection, gum disease, or another cause, you are certainly not alone. It is estimated that 178 million Americans have lost at least one tooth. A missing front tooth can compromise your image, but even a lost molar should be replaced. Every one of our 32 adult teeth has a role in pre-digestion. When one tooth is gone, the others must take on more work, which puts them at risk for failure. In addition, remaining teeth tend to drift toward the space left by a missing tooth, ultimately changing the alignment of teeth and potentially contributing to malocclusion and jaw pain.

About Dental Bridges

Bridges have been the gold standard for replacing a single tooth or a few teeth in a row, for many decades. Traditional bridges feature tooth-colored pontics (false teeth) attached by crowns on healthy teeth for stability. The prosthetic is aptly named, because it literally bridges the gap between teeth, where one or more teeth have been lost. Bridges are fixed appliances, meaning that they are not removable.

To place a traditional bridge, the dentist will crown the two healthy teeth on either side of the space left by lost teeth. This requires that the supporting teeth be altered by removal of healthy structure. In most cases, the patient wears a temporary bridge while the permanent appliance is crafted in a dental lab. In a week or two, the patient returns, and the temporary is replaced with the permanent fixed bridge.

While traditional bridges are effective, and look quite natural, they do require support by healthy teeth. This can ultimately cause failure of the supporting teeth. In contrast, implant-retained bridges are anchored to independent implants, placed in the jawbone.

Implant-Retained Bridges

Dental implants can hold a single tooth, a bridge, or a denture. Implants are small posts of biocompatible metal, placed into the sockets left open by missing teeth. Each implant is independently anchored, so it does not rely on other teeth for support. One implant can hold one tooth. A few can support a bridge.

To place implants, a brief surgery is required. The patient generally wears a temporary bridge for three to six months, as jawbone tissue naturally fuses to the implant posts. After this period, the implants are a permanent oral fixture, and the final bridge can be permanently placed.

With good oral care, no injury, and no disease, implant-retained bridges can last a lifetime. Should the bridge portion become damaged or discolored, it may be replaced, without altering the implant posts.

Schedule a Consultation Today

Don’t live with missing teeth. Call Value Dental Center Queen Creek today to reserve a consultation with one of our dentists. We’ll thoroughly evaluate your case, take x-rays, and explain your options for tooth replacement. Our goal is always to help patients receive the quality dental care they need, at affordable prices.