Here at Excellent Dental Specialists in San Antonio, TX, we want all of our dental patients to be able to rely on their smile, which is why we offer a traditional bridge and implant-supported bridges to replace missing teeth. Missing teeth can do a number on your self-confidence, and make you less willing to smile. Dental bridges have come a long way in both form and function over the last few decades, and a dental bridge can be a great solution to restore your smile.
A dental bridge is a permanent dental prosthesis that is made to be anchored in your mouth either by your natural teeth, dental implants, or a combination of the two. A bridge can replace a single tooth or several consecutive teeth. Bridges restore your ability to eat and speak as you did before you lost the teeth that the bridge is replacing. We can craft your dental bridge out of a wide variety of material to achieve any look that you would like. Your bridge will fit perfectly into your smile, and no one will be able to tell that those aren’t your real teeth.
It usually requires at least two trips to our office to have a dental bridge placed. During the first visit to our San Antonio office, we will make sure that you are comfortable, and we will apply any local anesthetic that you will need. We will take an impression of your teeth, as well as the area that we will be making the bridge for to send to our dental lab. Our dental lab will use the impression to create a replica of your teeth that will fit perfectly in your mouth. After we have the impression, the next steps depend on what kind of dental bridge you will be getting.
Traditional dental bridges rely on your natural teeth to act as the abutments (or anchors) for the bridge. If you are having a traditional dental bridge placed, we will need to alter your natural teeth, so that a bridge can be placed over them in much the same way that a dental crown is placed over a tooth. During this process, we will shave off the outer layers of the supporting teeth. This way, the bridge can fit over the teeth, still look natural, and fit into your bite properly. Once your teeth have been prepared, we will be able to place a temporary dental bridge onto them, so that you can get used to the sensation of eating and speaking with your new appliance. Your second visit to our San Antonio office will happen once we have received the dental bridge from our lab. We will remove the temporary bridge and place the permanent one.
An implant-supported bridge (like the All-on-4® Treatment Concept) is similar to a traditional bridge, but it uses dental implants to support the bridge, rather than the surrounding natural teeth. Before having an implant-supported bridge placed, the dental implants will need to be surgically placed in your mouth. We make an incision in your gums above the implant site and prepare the bone below to receive the titanium implant. We will place the implant post into your jaw, suture the site closed, and allow your mouth several months to heal. Then you will come back to have the dental bridge placed.
Do you have questions about dental bridges, implant-supported bridges, or dental implants? We can help you determine what will work best for you. Contact us to schedule an appointment at one of our Texas locations.