Rebuild Your Smile with a Dental Bridge
For patients missing multiple adjacent teeth, Dr. Bruce Watkins offers customized dental bridges to enhance your smile and restore functionality. Patients can take advantage of either tooth-colored porcelain or zirconia material to create a restoration that blends in with their natural smile. In certain cases, we can even create your bridge at our Elkhart, IN, office and minimize the time you need to wear a temporary restoration.
What is a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge fills the gap left by missing teeth. Traditional bridges are held in place with dental crowns which are placed over the healthy tooth on either side of the gap. One or more artificial teeth are attached to these crowns and fill the gap between.
Traditional dental crowns fit directly over the teeth adjacent to a gap in order to fill in the space between them.
What is the Treatment Process Like?
During your initial consultation, Dr. Watkins will examine your teeth and gums to evaluate your oral health. In particular, he must examine the adjacent teeth next to the gap in your smile, since they must support the dental crowns in a bridge. If your smile is healthy, he can move forward with your treatment plan.
By filling in the gap in your smile, a dental bridge can reduce structural and disease-related risks, as well as improve your diet.
Depending on your needs, we can fabricate your bridges from a variety of different materials, including tooth-colored porcelain and zirconia. Once you have both agreed on the material and shade best suited to your smile, Dr. Watkins can begin reshaping the adjacent teeth in order to make room for the dental crowns.
After this step is complete, he can then take detailed impressions of your teeth and gums. From these impressions, we can create customized restorations with our in-house milling equipment or send them to a trusted off-site laboratory. If necessary, Dr. Watkins can place a temporary crown or bridge to protect your teeth.
Once your customized bridge is finished, patients can return for a second appointment to remove the temporary bridge and receive the permanent restoration. After testing the bridge's fit and appearance, Dr. Watkins can cement the prosthetic securely in place.
Why Replace Missing Teeth?
Losing a tooth usually results in a cascade of effects. Because the teeth provide support for our cheeks and lips, spaces in your smile can create a sunken-in appearance. The surrounding teeth may also begin to shift out of place, resulting in a misaligned bite. Consequently, lost teeth can put you at greater risk for gum disease, decay, and eating or speech-related difficulties.
By filling in the gap in your smile, a dental bridge can reduce structural and disease-related risks, as well as improve your diet. For patients who qualify, Dr. Watkins may also recommend a bridge supported by dental implants rather than crowns. These small posts are surgically placed in the jawbone for significantly improved stability.
Learn More about Dental Bridges
Our team at Watkins Family Dentistry can help determine whether a dental bridge is the best way to restore your smile. Contact us online or by phone at (574) 293-9832 to schedule a consultation and discuss your options.