Dental bridges to the rescue! Complete your smile, restore your health and confidence
At Advance Dental Arts Center, we make every effort to preserve patients’ teeth. We do this in close partnership with our patients from West Linn, Lake Oswego, Oregon City, Gladstone, Milwaukee, Wilsonville, and throughout greater Portland and northwestern Oregon. When teeth cannot be preserved with hygiene modifications or restorative treatments, such as root canal therapy, Dr. Kimberly Wright and Dr. Kristan Rodriguez offer many options to recommend rebuilding patients’ teeth and completing their smiles.
The dental bridge lives up to its name; this form of tooth replacement quite literally “bridges” the gap between the teeth. The replacement tooth also depends on neighboring teeth for its support. The new tooth (or “pontic”) is cemented or secured to its neighbors (“abutment” teeth). In turn, the abutments anchor the pontic.
The anchor teeth must be crowned to ensure that the pontic is adequately supported. Any crowns that are placed require the removal and reshaping of tooth structure. In this manner, each crown fits on top of the natural tooth precisely. The crowns are then fused to the pontic as a single piece or unit bonded to the anchor teeth.
Bridges may be better suited for some patients more than others; for instance, Dr. Wright and Dr. Rodriguez may recommend the placement of a dental bridge for those patients who require the removal of a single badly broken or decayed tooth. They may recommend an alternative option for those patients who are missing more than a single tooth. When using a bridge to replace a few or several teeth, the design of this system can result in undue force and stress on the abutments. When this occurs, the anchor teeth may be compromised.
Alternatives to conventional dental bridges include replacement teeth supported by dental implants. Several teeth can be retained or held in place by a minimal number of dental implants due to advanced techniques and the precision placement of each implant in the jaw. Since implants are designed to function like tooth roots to “root” the new teeth or stabilize them in the jaw, each implant’s correct and exacting positioning in the jawbone is a “must.” Implant systems are also attractive because they do not alter or compromise the surrounding teeth. Instead, they are designed like natural teeth – deriving their support from the roots (implants) in the jaw.
If a dental bridge is appropriate, it can last for several years with consistent care at home and at our office. At Advance Dental Arts Center, we are happy to effectively demonstrate ways to clean hard-to-reach spaces underneath the bridge. Call us today at (503) 694-4776 to schedule your visit.
We look forward to meeting you!