Replace Missing Teeth With A Dental Bridge
Losing even a single tooth can cause significant difficulty eating and speaking, as well as make you feel self-conscious about your appearance. A dental bridge is an excellent solution to fill the gap in your smile and restore your dental function. At the practice of Dr. Robert Rapisarda in Three Rivers and Barre, MA, patients can expect high-quality, customized restorations created by a reputable lab for natural-looking results. Additionally, as a formally trained implantologist, Dr. Rapisarda can also provide implant-supported dental bridges for patients seeking a more durable, long-lasting treatment option.
What Is A Dental Bridge?
If you are missing one to three teeth in a row, your dentist will typically recommend a bridge. We offer both traditional and implant-supported options:
Traditional Dental Bridge
A dental bridge consists of one or more pontics, or prosthetic teeth, as well as two dental crowns. These are placed over the teeth on both sides of the gap, known as the abutment teeth, to anchor the bridge into place.
Bridges supported by implants are self-sustaining and leave nearby teeth completely intact.
Implant-Supported Dental Bridges
Unlike a traditional restoration, implant-supported dental bridges do not rely on nearby teeth. This type of bridge is affixed to dental implants, small titanium posts which are placed in your jaw bone. Implants provide a durable base for extremely comfortable, lifelike restorations.
What To Expect During Treatment
The dental bridge treatment process will vary slightly depending on what type you choose but consists of some general steps.
Your Initial Consultation
To begin, patients will attend a consultation with Dr. Rapisarda to discuss their concerns and goals. He will evaluate your oral health and candidacy using the latest diagnostic tools to determine whether a dental bridge is right for you. You must be free of decay and periodontal disease and we can provide treatment for these conditions, as needed.
You will then work together to plan your procedure, deciding whether you will receive a traditional or implant-supported restoration, and what types of materials will be used. We can also discuss available financing plans at this time, such as CareCredit® and LendingClub, since treatment with dental implants is not typically covered by insurance.
If you are receiving a traditional bridge, Dr. Rapisarda will need to remove a small amount of enamel from the abutment teeth. This ensures that the restoration will comfortably fit over the remaining structure and does not look bulky. An impression will be taken of the treatment area which will be used to create your restoration at our off-site lab. At this time, you will be provided with a temporary prosthetic to wear between appointments.
Patients who have selected an implant-supported dental bridge will first undergo surgery to insert the implant posts into the jaw bone. A temporary will typically be placed to complete the procedure.
Placing Your Dental Bridge
Once your traditional bridge has been fabricated, you will return to our office, roughly two weeks after your first appointment. If you are receiving a traditional bridge, your prosthetic will be attached using specialized dental cement to secure the dental crowns. For patients receiving an implant-supported bridge, your prosthetic will be attached to the top of your implant posts once your jaw and gums have fully healed. This process usually takes between three to six months.