Robert Wilkoff DDS Blog

Dentistry Pennsylvania

Benefits of Dental Bridges

October 28, 2013 @ 09:27 AM — by rwdds

Rockledge Dental BridgesIf you're missing one or more teeth, simple everyday activities like eating and talking could be difficult and frustrating. To restore form and function to your teeth, a dental bridge fills in the gap left by a missing tooth. Not only will you eat better and speak better, you'll feel better overall. Here's a brief look at how we assess patients for dental bridges at our Rockledge cosmetic dentistry practice.

What Is a Dental Bridge?

Sometimes called a fixed partial denture, a bridge uses artificial teeth to create a "bridge" to fill in the gap where one or more teeth used to be. Traditional bridges involve placing dental crowns on the teeth on either side of the gap, with a false tooth in between. In cases where the nearby teeth aren't strong enough, dental implants may be surgically placed in the gap to help support the bridge. Bridges can be made from porcelain, which provides a natural-looking restoration, as well as gold and other metals, or a combination of these materials.

Most bridges are permanently placed onto your teeth and can only be removed by a dentist. You will brush the bridge just as you would your natural teeth, but you will not be able to floss between the artificial teeth of the bridge. To thoroughly clean under the bridge - where bacteria can collect - you may need a special type of dental floss called "superfloss," which has a stiff end and a fluffy end that helps you clean the gap between the bridge and your gums.

What Are the Benefits of a Dental Bridge?

The personal and emotional benefits of having a full set of functional teeth cannot be overstated. The purpose of a dental bridge is to:

  • Restore your smile
  • Restore your ability to properly chew and speak
  • Maintain the shape of your face
  • Distribute your bite pressures more evenly across all your teeth
  • Prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position

Am I a Good Candidate for a Dental Bridge?

The success of a dental bridge depends heavily on the foundation, so it's very important to start with healthy teeth and gums. In general, candidates for dental bridges are people who are missing one tooth or several consecutive teeth, which negatively affects their dental health. Ideal candidates should also be committed to following good oral hygiene practices, including brushing and flossing, in order to maintain a healthy support structure for the bridge and avoid further tooth or bone loss.

If the teeth next to the gap are decayed or damaged and might need restoration in the future, a dental bridge may not be the best option. Also, in cases where multiple teeth are missing from either the upper or lower row of teeth, full dentures may be a more appropriate restoration. During your consultation, Dr. Wilkoff will determine the best solution to address your needs.

Learn More about Dental Bridges

If you are missing one or more teeth and are looking for a way to restore your ability to chew and speak, you may be a good candidate for a dental bridge. Dr. Wilkoff helps patients of all ages achieve beautiful smiles. To learn more about dental bridges, please schedule an appointment. We look forward to learning about your specific concerns and helping you achieve strong teeth and healthy gums for the rest of your life!