“I Lost a Tooth… Now What?”
When you lose teeth, it can feel like people only see gaps when you smile or that you can’t eat as well. For many people with missing teeth, this can make them avoid smiling altogether and prevent them from enjoying their favorite foods. If you feel like you try to avoid smiling because you have missing teeth, it’s important to keep in mind that you have options for restoration– and that your dentist can help.
Along with affecting the appearance of your smile, missing or lost teeth can cause movement of neighboring teeth in the mouth, disturbing your bite’s delicate equilibrium. Along with this, it can make it more difficult to effectively clean your mouth and gums if you have gaps or shifted teeth. If you’re suffering from missing teeth, a dental bridge is a fairly quick and excellent option for restoring your smile and your confidence by using the latest technologies and techniques.
A bridge fills the space in your mouth where teeth are missing, essentially “bridging” the gap and restoring health and function to your smile without the need for surgery. Using the teeth on either side of your missing tooth, a bridge holds the replacement tooth in place to prevent further shifting and to maintain the completeness of your smile. Bridges can be completed in as little as 2-3 weeks, making them low-hassle and easy to manage. In New York City, we offer dental bridges and other restorative options for your smile.
Types of Dental Bridges
Traditional Dental Bridges
When you have natural teeth on both sides of the missing tooth, then a traditional bridge is your best option. Traditional dental bridges are the most common type of bridge used for restoration. They usually consist of one or more pontics (spacer teeth) and are held in place using dental crowns. These crowns are called abutments and are cemented onto the teeth around the gap to hold the bridge in place.
These bridges are similar to traditional bridges; however, the pontic is solely supported on one side by an abutment rather than on both sides. This option is ideal for people who only have one natural tooth next to the gap.
Maryland bridges are an alternative option to traditional bridges that do not use crowns. Instead, the bridge is made of a pontic that is held in place by either a porcelain or metal framework. The framework is bonded to the backs of the adjoining teeth next to the gap.
These are the most advanced methods of replacing missing teeth. Implant-supported bridges are a good option when you have one or more missing teeth. These dental devices are supported by implants rather than crowns or frameworks. Since these bridges are secured by dental implants, they feel comfortable and are much like a natural tooth. Two procedures are required for dental bridges supported by implants. The first step is performed by an oral surgeon to place the implants. After a recovery period of 3-6 months, the second procedure is performed where the bridge is placed. Though this may seem like a lengthy process, the results are permanent and natural-looking.
“I have been Dr. Chern’s patient for several years now and I have no intention of ever finding another dentist. When you find an amazing dentist, you stick with them. She’s honest, professional, and knows what she’s doing. Her staff is just as amazing.”– David K.
The Dental Bridge Treatment Process and What to Expect
Your First Appointment (60-90 minutes)
- Pictures and models will be taken to assess the area. These help determine the right tooth shape and color selection, as well as help collaboration with the dental lab.
- You’ll discuss your aesthetic desires and material options for the bridge with Dr. Chern.
- The neighboring teeth will be prepared under local anesthesia to act as the “anchors” for your dental bridge. You won’t feel any discomfort or pain during this step.
- A temporary bridge will be placed to protect your teeth and gums while the lab fabricates the permanent bridge framework.
Your Second Appointment (30-45 minutes)
- The temporary bridge will be removed and the bridge framework will be tried on to check its function and aesthetics.
- A new “pick-up” impression will be taken and the framework will be sent back to the lab for ceramic application.
- Your temporary bridge will be replaced and any necessary pictures will be taken.
Your Final Appointment (30-45 minutes)
- The final restoration will be placed in your mouth and checked for function and aesthetics.
- The finished bridge will be bonded into place to complete your restoration.
- Dr. Chern will provide you with a list of instructions for your new bridge.
Your Follow-Up Appointment (15 minutes)
We will schedule a follow-up appointment 1-2 weeks after the placement of your new bridge to check how your teeth are feeling and functioning. We may also recommend a bite splint or nightguard to protect your new prosthetic from excessive force.
Caring For Your Bridge
Taking good care of your bridge will guarantee a long-lasting restoration. Follow these care tips to ensure that you maintain your new smile and get the most out of your investment:
- Eat a healthy diet (enjoy sweets and soft drinks in moderate amounts).
- See your dentist regularly (every 4-6 months for a hygiene appointment).
- Brush your teeth twice daily for 2 minutes with a soft or electric toothbrush.
- Floss every day or use a water flosser (Waterpik).
- Always clean between the teeth and around the bridge.
What Makes Our Office the Right Fit for Your Dental Needs?
We never take a one-size-fits-all approach to dental bridges. Dr. Chern will evaluate your missing teeth, working closely with our team to create a custom solution.
Our bright and modern Midtown East Manhattan office was designed with you in mind. Enjoy a calming atmosphere and comfortable amenities to help you feel at ease.
New York General Dentistry uses modern techniques and equipment to ensure your dental bridge treatment is a success.
Meet With Dr. Chern &
Her Manhattan Team
Dr. Inna Chern and our team can work with you to find the best treatment options to restore your beautiful smile with the treatments and technologies that fit you best. To learn more about dental bridges and your restoration options, contact our office for an appointment by calling or filling out our online form.
Our New York City Office
Sundays – Available by request for special cases and dental emergencies
“One of the most wonderful dentists I have ever been to. Inna is kind, compassionate, and truly cares about her patients. I was always afraid of dentists until I met Inna. Highly recommend her for any dentistry needs – and if you would like your dentist to be your new best friend!”– Abhi G.