Closing Gaps in Your Smile with Dental Bridges
Dental bridges can help individuals attain a beautiful, natural-looking smile after losing one or more teeth in a row. This treatment is a cost-effective alternative to dental implants which restores function and oral health. Our cosmetic and restorative dentist, Dr. Eugene D. Stanislaus, and the entire staff which serves Brooklyn Heights, Fort Green, and surrounding communities, provide dental bridges that are designed to provide long-lasting and reliable results and the most beautiful possible smiles for our patients.
About Dental Bridges
A traditional dental bridge consists of an artificial replacement tooth (pontic) and two dental crowns. The crowns are bonded to the natural adjacent teeth on either side of the gap in your smile and the artificial tooth “bridges” this space. This type of restoration has been used successfully for several decades in dentistry.
Bridges can be crafted from an array of high-quality materials, including metal, ceramic, or zirconia. Most patients choose tooth-colored restorations to blend in with their smile for natural-looking results. Your options can be discussed with you in more detail during a visit at our Brooklyn dental practice.
Exploring Your Candidacy
Dental bridges are an excellent choice for patients missing one or more teeth, but they are not always the most appropriate option. This treatment may be right for you if:
- Your remaining teeth are healthy and strong enough to support a bridge. The natural teeth on either side of the gap will be used to anchor the bridge. Therefore, it is important that these teeth are in good condition. If the long-term prognosis of these teeth is poor or questionable, you may be better suited for dental implants.
- You are seeking a long-term solution. In contrast to dentures, bridges are fixed restorations and can only be removed by your dentist. Therefore, a bridge will look and feel just like your natural teeth. With proper care, a dental bridge can last for several years.
- You do not currently require any other significant dental work. Before a bridge can be placed successfully, patients should be free of decay, gum disease, and other major dental issues. If these problems are present, they must be addressed first to reduce the risk of more complex issues in the future.
It is important to note that patients who are missing most or all of their teeth will typically be better candidates for traditional or implant-supported dentures. During a consultation at our practice, your doctor can discuss your treatment options in detail.
Dental Bridge Treatment Process
Placing a traditional dental bridge requires the alteration of the natural adjacent teeth. To do this, your doctor will administer local anesthesia to keep you comfortable and remove small amounts of enamel from the neighboring teeth. This makes room for your new dental restoration and helps provide the necessary support for long-lasting success. Any decayed or damaged tooth structure will be removed during this step, as well.
Once the teeth are prepared, impressions are taken. These will be used to fabricate your custom dental bridge. Once your new restoration has been crafted, Dr. Stanislaus will bond it into place. Finally, he will assess the fit of your new bridge and make any necessary adjustments. Once it is complete, you can enjoy the benefits of a dazzling, functional smile and a boost in confidence.
Same-Day Bridges with CEREC
Traditionally, bridges are fabricated in a dental laboratory. Therefore, the treatment process often takes two separate office visits, spanning two to three weeks. At Brooklyn Heights Dental, we utilize advanced CEREC® technology which allows for same-day bridge placement.
Same-Day Bridge Placement: How it Works
Instead of taking traditional dental impressions, we will scan your teeth with a digital wand. This device captures thousands of images, then stitches them together to create an accurate representation of your oral anatomy. Once the digital impressions have been taken, the images are uploaded to our computer so that your dentist can design your bridge. The files are then uploaded to our in-office milling machine, which will carve your new bridge out of a solid block of ceramic. This process takes about one hour to complete so that patients can leave our office with a brand-new smile after just a single appointment.
Implant-Supported Bridges Restore Comfort, Functionality, and Aesthetics
In addition to conventional dental bridges, Dr. Stanislaus also offers implant-supported bridges.An implant-supported bridge can replace missing teeth, allowing you to chew, speak, and smile with complete confidence. These bridges are made from several fused replacement teeth anchored by one or more dental implants. Dental implants are small threaded posts that are surgically embedded into the jawbone to replace missing teeth roots. Implant-supported dental bridges are non-removable and more resilient and longer-lasting than traditional bridges.
When it comes to replacing multiple missing teeth, implant-supported bridges are second to none. Dr. Stanislaus and Dr. Reid provide custom implant-supported bridges at their Brooklyn Heights, NYC practice. Our team can design a bridge to connect to your existing implants or he may place new implants to support your restoration.
About Implant-supported Bridges
Drs. Stanislaus and Reid use high-quality dental porcelain, zirconia, and other materials to design bridges that blend beautifully with your natural teeth. And because it is anchored to dental implants, you never have to worry that your bridge will slip out of place. Meanwhile, dental implants are the only restorative option that can halt the bone atrophy that follows tooth loss, making implant-supported bridges one of the best investments you can make in a compromised smile.
Insurance rarely covers the entire cost of dental implants, but we offer financing options to help you place the cost of an implant-supported bridge within your budget. During your consultation, our staff will explain the options we offer to help you to afford a beautiful, healthy new smile.
Candidates for Implant-supported Bridges
In general, implant-supported bridge candidates:
- Are missing two or more teeth.
- Are in good overall health.
- Don't smoke, since nicotine can inhibit the ability to heal following implant surgery.
- Have sufficient jawbone tissue to support a dental implant.
We use digital X-rays to examine your jaw bone and determine if it is strong enough to support dental implants. If you have waited to address missing teeth, and have experienced some bone atrophy, we can perform a bone graft to restore an adequate base for dental implants. During this procedure, Dr. Stanislaus will place donor tissue to augment the jaw. Once the graft has fully integrated with your bone tissue, he can proceed with implant placement.
Placing and Restoring Your Dental Implants
In some cases, we can place and restore implants on the same day. Surgery begins with an incision in the gums, granting access to the jaw bone. Next, a pilot hole is drilled into the bone, and the threaded implant is inserted. Abutment pieces are attached to the implants, the gums are sutured closed, and the bridge is attached to the abutments. In other cases, patients will need to wait three to six months for the implants to fully integrate with the jaw before receiving a permanent bridge. In the meantime, we will provide a temporary bridge. During a consultation, we will determine which approach is best for your needs.
All of our bridges are carefully crafted to achieve a precise, comfortable fit, and provide a natural appearance that matches any existing teeth. With proper care, you can expect that your implant-supported bridge will provide a lifetime of comfortable, confident, and beautiful smiles.
Benefits and Risks of Dental Bridges
If you are missing one or two consecutive teeth, a dental bridge can improve both the aesthetics and functionality of your smile. Dr. Stanislaus can explain the benefits and risks of dental bridges during a consultation at his Brooklyn Heights, NY, practice. In many cases, implant-supported crowns and bridges can offer superior benefits with less risks than traditional bridges.
Benefits of Traditional Bridges
Dental bridges offer a range of benefits for patients who are missing teeth. Some of the benefits include:
- Stability: Your bridge will stay firmly in place, helping you to chew and enunciate properly. You will not need to remove your restoration for cleaning as you might with a partial denture.
- Durability: Bridges are made of highly durable dental porcelain, and with proper care, can last for years.
- Maintained Alignment: A bridge can prevent your surrounding teeth from shifting out of place.
- Natural-looking Results: Not only will a traditional bridge replace your missing teeth, Dr. Stanislaus can also improve the shape and color of the anchoring teeth with dental crowns. Additionally, the porcelain bridge is very resistant to staining, and closely resembles the look and feel of natural teeth.
Risks Associated with Traditional Bridges
However, there are some risks associated with traditional bridge restorations:
- Jawbone Recession: In the absence of tooth roots, the jaw will begin to shrink. Although a traditional bridge offers excellent support, it cannot halt jaw atrophy beneath the gums.
- Gum Disease: Cleaning your restoration requires special floss to reach between the bridge and the gum line. Failure to properly floss around your bridge can result in plaque and tartar buildup, increasing the risk for decay of surrounding teeth, as well as gum irritation and disease.
- Breakage: If you use your bridge to chew especially hard or sticky foods, it can crack. Minor fractures may be repaired, but for more significant breakage, a full replacement may be required.
Dental implants offer the ultimate level of support available for restorations. In addition, crowns supported by dental implants do not involve any of the risks associated with traditional bridges.
Traditional dental bridges can greatly enhance the function, comfort, and aesthetics of your smile. However, to avoid the risks and complications associated with these restorations, you may want to consider dental implants. Dental implants offer the ultimate level of support available for restorations. Crowns supported by implants do not involve any of the risks associated with traditional bridges. Because implants replace tooth roots, they are able to prevent bone loss. In addition, because implant-supported crowns are not connected to nearby teeth, flossing and brushing is easier, and the risk of breakage lower. Implant-supported crowns also eliminate the need to alter surrounding teeth, preserving more of your healthy smile. Our office also offers implant-supported bridges, which can provide similar benefits to implant-supported crowns with limited risks.
Why Choose a Bridge over an Alternative Treatment?
Both traditional and implant-supported dental bridges offer several notable advantages compared to alternative teeth replacement options. These restorations can:
- Enhance the aesthetics of your smile
- Provide more support to the facial features
- Correct bite issues and speech problems
- Reduce the risk of decay, gum disease, bone loss, and other significant dental issues
- Restore proper chewing function
- Offer a comfortable solution to tooth loss
- Prevent shifting
- Minimize the risk of TMJ disorder
- Last upwards of 10 years with proper maintenance and care
Customize Dental Bridges to Your Needs
Gaps and spaces in your smile can detract from your overall appearance and compromise your oral health. If you are seeking a replacement for one or more missing teeth, the professionals at Brooklyn Heights Dental® can help you determine if the dental bridges procedure would be right for you. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Eugene D. Stanislaus, contact Brooklyn Heights Dental® today by calling (718) 857-6639.
"I've been very happy with my experiences at Dr. Stanislaus's office, and highly recommend him to anyone in the New York City area. He and his staff go above and beyond to do the best job possible."-R.B. (Patient)