Simple, but Effective Tooth-Loss Solutions
What if you need missing teeth replaced, but aren’t in the market for dental implants or dentures? You may find that you can’t or don’t want to get implants or dentures for any number of reasons, such as costs or stability of the restoration. If implants and dentures aren’t your thing, your Bakersfield dentist, Dr. Garger wants you to know that you have many options for tooth loss replacement. A popular option for tooth replacement available at Gentle Family Dentistry is dental bridges.
What Are Dental Bridges?
Dental bridges are restorations designed to complete your smile after tooth loss. They’re made of a row of false teeth called pontics. You’ll receive a number of pontics to replace the number of teeth you’ve lost. Dental crowns are attached to either end of the restoration and these crowns are attached to the healthy teeth on either side of the gap left by your missing teeth. These ‘abutment teeth’ or ‘anchor teeth’ hold the restoration in place, ‘bridging the gap’ that resulted from tooth loss and completing your smile.
Benefits of Dental Bridges
Dental bridges are an effective way to replace teeth because they offer a large number of benefits including:
- Minimally-invasive installation
- Can be customized to match your natural teeth
- No drawn-out healing times
- Faster treatment
- Can comfortably replace up to four missing teeth
- Won’t shift around or fall out of your mouth
- Can last for years with proper oral hygiene and regular dental exams
- Restores your ability to eat, speak, and smile
The Dental Bridge Process
Step 1: Initial Consultation
Before Dr. Garger approves you for treatment with dental bridges, you’ll undergo an initial consultation at our Bakersfield office. Your dentist will thoroughly examine your mouth, review your medical history, and discuss your smile goals with you. The information he gathers will allow him to determine your eligibility for dental bridges.
Step 3: Preparing Your Teeth
Once you and Dr. Garger have both decided that a dental bridge is a good restorative option for you, we’ll apply a local anesthetic to the soft tissues around the future abutment teeth. Then your dentist will form your abutment teeth into bases for your crowns by removing a small amount of enamel from them.
Step 4: Designing Your Dental Bridge
Once your teeth have been prepared, we’ll help you pick the material for your custom-made dental bridge restoration. Please keep in mind that gold and silver bridges, while long-lasting, cannot be altered to match your real teeth. Then, we’ll take images and impressions of your teeth which will be sent to an offsite laboratory. They’ll serve as the blueprints for your custom-made bridge.
Depending on your case, Dr. Garger may provide a temporary dental bridge, which he can use to gather important information for possible alterations to your permanent bridge. You’ll return to our Bakersfield office once your permanent restoration is complete and ready to be installed.
Step 5: Installing Your Dental Bridge
When you return, your dentist will remove any temporary bridges and show you your new, permanent restoration. If you’re satisfied with the way your custom-made bridge looks, he’ll cement it into place over the abutment teeth with a special dental adhesive. Once your bridge is installed, you’ll be ready to start showing off your new, beautifully restored smile.
Frequently Asked Questions
The exact cost of your dental bridge will vary based on a multitude of factors including what materials are used, how many teeth need replacing, and your insurance. Dr. Garger and the rest of the team at Gentle Family Dentistry encourage you to call your provider beforehand and ask them which costs they can cover. Don’t worry if you need help affording your treatment though, because we proudly offer our patients financing options including third-party financing through CareCredit.
Dental bridges are built to last 15 years, but they can last upwards of 20 to 30 years depending on the materials used to craft the restoration, your oral hygiene, and how often you see your dentist for dental exams. To extend the longevity of your bridge, be sure to visit Gentle Family Dentistry at least once every six months so your dentist can help you maintain your oral health as well as your restoration.
Tooth-colored dental bridges made of a material like porcelain or resin are designed to match your natural smile, but unlike your real teeth, they cannot be whitened. If you want to undergo teeth whitening, Dr. Garger recommends doing so before we design your bridge. That way, your brilliant new smile matches your restoration.
Depending on the material and the type of damage, it may be possible for your dentist to repair your dental bridge. If your restoration does get damaged, don’t throw it away or try to repair it yourself, as this can make things worse. Instead, gather the pieces in a small, clear plastic bag, and call Gentle Family Dentistry’s Bakersfield office by dialing 661-664-9900 and schedule an appointment. Bring the pieces of your bridge with you on your appointment date and your dentist will be able to determine if it can be fixed or needs to be replaced.
Dental Bridges For Quick, Sturdy Restoration
Thanks to dental bridges, our patients can enjoy a fully restored smile without the need for implants or dentures. If you’re looking to replace missing teeth, but want a minimally invasive restoration option that lasts, call our Bakersfield office by dialing 661-664-9900 and schedule an appointment with Dr. Garger. You can also fill out and submit the contact form below and a friendly team member will get back to you shortly.
Dr. Garger and the rest of the team at Gentle Family Dentistry, proudly serve our patients from across Bakersfield and surrounding areas. We look forward to helping you look and feel your best with a smile that suits you.