Embarrassed by missing teeth, or tired of struggling to speak or chew food? Our dentist in Houston, Dr. Le, offers expert dental bridge work to give you the beautiful smile you desire. Our treatment options include dental bridges, implants, and other options to help you achieve the final result as soon as possible. Dental Bridges — Seamless Tooth Replacement Dental bridges are comfortable and easily installed in two visits. A bridge can be used to replace just one tooth or several consecutive teeth. Bridges are less expensive and involve much less recovery than dental implant surgery. With good hygiene, dental bridges can last 10 to 15 years or more. Our dentist offers complimentary consultations for dental bridges or other cosmetic treatment. When you have missing teeth, you’re prone to a number of problems: difficulty chewing food or speaking, your remaining teeth drifting and becoming susceptible to further tooth loss, and simply a loss of confidence in your smile. A dental bridge is a proven way to replace missing teeth in just two dentist visits. With a traditional bridge, one tooth (or more) on each side of the gap serves as an anchor, or “abutment,” for the bridge and is carefully contoured to receive a crown by which the bridge is connected. The false tooth (or teeth), called a “pontic,” is created in a lab to color-match your other teeth and attaches in the middle and serves as the “bridge.” In other words, a dental bridge is basically a partial denture. Our dentist can answer your questions about the overall cost of your dental bridge and explain all the available ways to pay for treatment, including dental insurance, cash payment plans, and paying with an FSA or HSA account. Benefits of Bridges Here are some of the advantages of getting a dental bridge: Replacing missing teeth with dentures custom-colored to your existing teeth for a seamless look Improving your chewing ability Providing support for the teeth, cheek, and lips, preventing teeth shifting, and maintaining the shape of your face Clearing up your speech Correcting your bite A dental bridge can be placed in as little as two pain-free office visits and are comfortable and easy to acclimate to. Dental Bridge – Before and After at Bunker Hill Dentistry A Dental Bridge Fitted by an Experienced Dentist in a Serene Setting Our Dentist, Dr. Le, is experienced in both cosmetic and general procedures, including fitting dental bridges. When you book an appointment at Bunker Hill Dentistry, you can expect: A professional and serene dental practice. A team dedicated to patient satisfaction. “Care, Comfort, Convenience” is our guarantee to every patient. A practice utilizing the latest in dental technology, including the i-CAT 3D x-ray machine, All-On-4® implants and an anesthesia-delivery wand, for more efficient and more effective diagnosis and treatment. A team happy to discuss and help with financial arrangements and payment options. The Dental Bridge Procedure Installing a dental bridge requires two office visits. During the first appointment, the dentist will examine your teeth to determine the length of the abutment and the health of the abutment teeth. If one or more teeth are not strong enough to serve as abutments, you may need to undergo a dental implant first. But if they’re healthy, the abutment teeth are re-contoured to allow room for the crowns; we will use local anesthetic to make this painless. Then an impression of your teeth is made with a 3D oral scanner and a temporary bridge is cemented in place with provisional glue. The results of the scan are sent to the lab to create your customized bridge. At your second visit, we will remove the temporary bridge and clean off any residue of temporary cement. Then you’ll try on the permanent bridge that’s come back from the lab and we will adjust it, if necessary, to ensure a comfortable bite before cementing it in place. Usually, local anesthesia is not necessary for this visit. How To Care For Your Dental Bridges Immediately after your procedure, you may experience some sensitivity to very hot or cold foods, but this should pass. You may prefer to eat soft foods and small bites, as well, until you’re used to the new bridge. However, over the long-term, watching your intake of sugary foods is highly recommended, as sugar activates harmful bacteria in the mouth to produce acid that wears away tooth enamel and can damage your abutments. Although the pontic itself is not real, the area must be kept clean to prevent decay and gum disease that follows the accumulation of plaque, which will weaken or destroy the bridge’s integrity. You’ll need to continue to brush twice each day–the same amount recommended for non-bridge wearers–but you won’t be able to floss between the pontic and the abutments during your daily flossing. So you’ll need to purchase a Waterpik or similar water flosser to flush out the area every day. And, as always, stick to a regular schedule of professional cleanings by the dentist. Combining Dental Bridges with Other Treatments The general rule is that orthodontic work should always be done before cosmetic work. Dental bridges are somewhat of a gray area, however, since they are intended to improve a patient’s looks but are also vital to major functions such as chewing. That being said, dental bridges can be combined with other treatments, although they can make those treatments more complicated or endanger the bridge itself. For example, a bridge could be combined with braces or Invisalign, but since it’s intended not to be able to move, the bridge could be damaged in the process. If you need veneers, the best way to proceed is to match the bridge to the veneers after the veneers are installed. Bridges are customized to match your teeth anyway, so in this case they would just be matched to the veneers. Dental bridges work best with their most popular alternative, implants (see below). Implants can be incorporated into a bridge itself, serving as either the pontic or the abutment(s) for an extremely solid repair. Make a Bridge Part of a Full Mouth Restoration Dental bridges fall under the umbrella of restorative dentistry – treatments with the goal of restoring the look and function of your mouth. A bridge can be used together with other treatments, such as crowns, veneers, and bonding, for a more impressive transformation. Learn more about our restorative dentistry services. Dental Bridge Alternatives The most common alternative to dental bridges is dental implants. Unlike a dental bridge, which simply covers the missing tooth with what is effectively a crown, a dental implant is embedded in the place of the missing tooth and surgically placed into the jaw via a metal post, usually titanium. New bone then grows around the post, creating a very secure fixture. Learn more about dental implants. Dental implants are significantly more expensive than bridges and are usually not covered at all by insurance plans, making them often cost-prohibitive if you have more than one missing tooth to replace. They’re also more complicated to install and take longer to heal. However, dental implants can be a good fit for patients whose teeth surrounding their missing teeth are not healthy enough to serve as abutments, and who have fully developed jawbones. Schedule An Appointment Today Not been to Bunker Hill Dentistry before? To help you prepare for your first visit, read our new patient information page.