Dental Bridges for Restoring Your Smile After Tooth Loss

Dental Bridges for Restoring Your Smile After Tooth Loss

Posted by Zack Tilden on May 23 2024, 03:23 AM

Losing a tooth affects the appearance of your smile and can lead to various oral health issues. When a tooth is lost, adjacent teeth may shift out of position, leading to bite misalignment and potential jaw problems. Additionally, missing teeth can affect your ability to chew correctly, leading to digestive issues and nutritional deficiencies. Restoring your smile with a dental bridge enhances your appearance, maintains the alignment of your teeth, and preserves your oral health. Dental bridges are fixed prosthetic devices that replace one or more missing teeth by bridging the gap between existing teeth. Consisting of artificial teeth, called pontics, anchored in place by crowns attached to the teeth on either side of the gap, known as abutment teeth, bridges restore both function and aesthetics to the smile. They offer several benefits, including restoring chewing and speaking ability, preventing adjacent teeth from shifting and maintaining jawbone integrity by stimulating bone tissue. Bridges provide a stable and durable solution fixed in place, eliminating the need for daily removal and adhesive application associated with dentures. Additionally, bridges typically require less completion time than dental implants, making them a convenient and cost-effective option for tooth replacement. Dental bridges enhance oral health, restore confidence, and improve the overall quality of life for individuals with missing teeth.

Types of Dental Bridges

  • Traditional bridges are the most common type and consist of one or more pontics anchored to adjacent natural teeth, which are capped with dental crowns. These crowns serve as anchors (abutments) to support the bridge.
  • Cantilever bridges are similar to traditional bridges but are anchored to only one adjacent natural tooth instead of two. They are typically used when only one natural tooth is next to the gap.
  • Maryland bridges have a pontic attached to metal or porcelain wings bonded to adjacent teeth' backs. They require minimal alteration of the adjacent teeth and are often used for replacing front teeth.
  • Implant-supported bridges are anchored to dental implants surgically placed in the jawbone. They offer a stable and long-lasting solution for replacing multiple missing teeth without relying on adjacent natural teeth for support.

The Benefits of Dental Bridges for Restoring Your Smile

  • Dental bridges fill in gaps left by missing teeth, restoring a natural appearance to your smile and boosting your confidence.
  • Bridges allow for improved chewing and speaking ability, restoring the functionality of your smile and enabling you to enjoy your favorite foods without restrictions.
  • By filling in the space left by a missing tooth, bridges prevent adjacent teeth from shifting out of position, maintaining the alignment of your bite and preventing potential oral health issues.
  • By replacing missing teeth, bridges help maintain the integrity of the jawbone and prevent bone loss, preserving facial structure and preventing premature aging.
  • Unlike removable dentures, bridges are permanently fixed in place, eliminating the need for removal for cleaning or maintenance and providing a hassle-free solution for tooth replacement.

The Dental Bridge Procedure

Initial Consultation

The process begins with an initial consultation with your dentist or prosthodontist. You'll discuss your dental concerns, goals, and treatment options during this visit. Your dentist will thoroughly examine your oral health, including X-rays and impressions of your teeth and gums, to determine if dental bridges are the right solution.

Treatment Planning

Your dentist will develop a personalized treatment plan tailored to your specific needs based on the examination findings. This plan will outline the type of bridge recommended, the number of pontics needed, and the preparation required for the abutment teeth.

Preparation of Abutment Teeth

If you're receiving a traditional dental bridge, the next step involves preparing the abutment teeth. This process may require removing a small amount of enamel from the teeth to make room for the crowns supporting the bridge. Alternatively, dental implants will be surgically placed into the jawbone if you receive an implant-supported bridge.


Once the abutment teeth are prepared, impressions of your teeth and gums will be taken. These impressions create custom-made crowns and pontics that will fit your mouth perfectly and provide a natural-looking restoration.

Temporary Bridge

While your permanent bridge is being fabricated in a dental laboratory, your dentist may place a temporary bridge to protect the prepared teeth and maintain aesthetics and function. This temporary bridge, usually made of acrylic, is designed to be worn until the permanent bridge is ready.

Bridge Placement

Once your permanent bridge is ready, you'll return to the dental office for the final placement. Your dentist will carefully place the bridge and ensure proper fit and alignment. Any necessary adjustments will be made to ensure your comfort and optimal function.

Final Touches

After confirming the fit and appearance of your bridge, your dentist will secure it in place using dental cement, completing the restoration process. Your dentist will provide instructions on how to care for your new bridge and schedule follow-up appointments to monitor your oral health and ensure the longevity of your restoration.

Dental bridges offer a reliable and long-lasting solution for replacing missing teeth, restoring both function and aesthetics to your smile, and improving your overall quality of life. Visit Tilden Dental Group at 331 E Ontario St, Chicago, IL 60611, or call (312) 664-6616 to learn more about how dental bridges can improve oral health and appearance. 

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