Get back your “smile appeal” with Dental Bridges

As a family dentist, Dr. Mark Martindale gets to know you and your family. And at Martindale Family Dentistry, we treat our patients like family. The close bonds that we form with our patients allow us to identify problems early into the disease process when they are easiest to resolve. Thus, we are often able to “save” or preserve even severely damaged or decayed teeth. However, we will promptly discuss your options if you need to have a tooth extracted or are involved in an accident that requires a dental bridge.

Dental bridges can be used to complete the smile; maintain chewing comfort, efficiency, and proper nutrition; and largely to uphold or restore self-confidence. Gaps in the smile can wreak havoc on our self-image and the many functions that can either be hampered or helped by the state of our teeth; for instance, the ability to speak clearly and pronounce words correctly can suffer when teeth are lost.

Bridge basics

Dental bridges are a time-tested way to replace a single tooth or a grouping of teeth. A standard bridge involves a replacement tooth (pontic) and neighboring “anchor” teeth (abutments). The pontic is fused to two crowns. This crown/pontic combination is then cemented as one piece over the abutment teeth. Any time teeth are crowned, they must be reduced in size to ensure that the crown fits precisely over the natural tooth.

Why are crowns necessary?

The crowns play an essential role in the long-term health and success of your bridge. Since the pontic depends on the neighboring anchor teeth for its support, those abutments must have sufficient strength. Dental crowns offer support to the anchoring teeth to ensure that they provide support for the pontic over the lifespan of the bridge.

Information that is good to know

Bridges generally require healthy anchoring teeth because the replacement tooth (or teeth) depend on them for their stability. Additionally, you may wear a temporary bridge while our dental lab makes your permanent bridge. Once it’s completed, you will return to our practice and Dr. Martindale will ensure the bridge fits well, and is aesthetically pleasing before cementing it securely to the abutments. Dental bridges can last a lifetime with proper care. It is vital that you clean well underneath the bridge. We can discuss cleaning techniques and products, from floss threaders to dental picks, to aid in keeping the bridge free of decay-producing bacteria and plaque.

Schedule your consultation with Dr. Martindale today. Call us at 770-637-5876. We are also happy to discuss alternatives, such as bridges supported by dental implants placed in the jaw (instead of by neighboring anchor teeth).