Closing Gaps in Your Smile with Dental Bridges
If you are missing one or more neighboring teeth, a dental bridge can bridge the gap in your smile. This restoration can either be held in place with two dental crowns or by one or more dental implants. Dr. Michael Sharp places dental bridges at his dental office in Kalamazoo, MI.
Sharp Smile Center is proud to have outstanding customer reviews of our quality of care. We have a 4.9-star rating average from over 150 Google reviews and a 5-star rating from more than 350 reviews on Patient Connect.
What Is a Dental Bridge?
Consisting of several porcelain teeth in a row, dental bridges are usually recommended to replace one to several missing teeth in a row. At our Kalamazoo dental practice, patients can take advantage of two different types of bridges:
- Traditional: When there are two healthy teeth on either side of a patient’s missing tooth, we can anchor the bridge with crowns.
- Implant-supported: Instead of anchoring the bridge with crowns, implant-supported bridges are attached to dental implants.
Why Consider Implant-Supported Dental Bridges?
Although patients may hesitate to consider surgical options, implant-supported bridges offer a number of advantages over traditional options, including:
- Restored oral function: If you have gaps in your smile, you may find yourself over-relying on your remaining teeth, putting further stress on your jaws and prematurely wearing down your enamel. Dental bridges are designed to restore chewing function. Implant-supported bridges have the added benefit of providing superior stability to crown-supported bridges.
- Improved oral health: Implant-supported dental bridges prevent teeth from shifting and put a stop to jawbone recession.
- Fuller cheeks: Missing teeth can leave your cheeks looking sunken in. If you forgo a restorative treatment for your missing tooth, the bone around the missing tooth can recede, furthering the caved-in appearance of your smile. Implant-supported bridges stimulate jawbone growth, leaving your jawbone stronger and your face looking fuller.
- Long-term treatment: When patients maintain good oral hygiene habits and refrain from bad habits like smoking and chewing ice, implants can last a lifetime. Even if the restoration is damaged, the underlying implant post does not usually need to be replaced.
What to Expect during the Treatment Process
At Sharp Smile Center, we use state-of-the-art technology for our restorative treatments, including CAD/CAM, T-Scan, and dental lasers. Dr. Sharp places implants himself, using an optimized technique for superior results.
Dr. Sharp has professional affiliations with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, American Dental Association, Crown Council, and International Congress of Oral Implantologists.
If you opt for an implant-supported bridge, treatment will usually take several months to complete. First, your implant post will be placed in your jaw under local anesthesia. If you get nervous when in the dentist's chair, we offer oral conscious and nitrous oxide so that you can feel more comfortable. After your implant has been placed, you will spend the next few weeks healing. Over the next several months, your implant will fuse with your jawbone, and a second appointment will be made to attach a small metal device called an abutment onto your implant. Your bridge can then be placed.
The placement process for a traditional bridge is much shorter. During the first appointment, Dr. Sharp will take impressions of your smile and send them to an off-site lab, where your customized bridge will be manufactured. After the restoration is completed, it will be sent back to the office and you can return for your second appointment to have it placed.
Rebuild Your Smile
If you have concerns about the affordability of treatment, our Kalamazoo office is proud to accept CareCredit® and LendingClub® Patient Solutions. When you work with Dr. Sharp, you are in expert hands. Dr. Sharp has professional affiliations with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, American Dental Association, International Congress of Oral Implantologists, Crown Council, and the renowned Kois Center® in Seattle. To schedule your first appointment with the doctor, contact our office online or call (269) 344-4004.