Replacing missing teeth with dental bridges

Kentwood Family Dental Care in Kentwood, MI, offers a full range of restorative treatments, including dental bridges to replace missing teeth. We use high-strength porcelain and cosmetic dental design principles to create beautiful, functional, and comfortable restorations.

The importance of replacing missing teeth

Some patients ask if it is necessary to replace a lost tooth. The answer is yes, for several reasons:

  • Cosmetics – This is the most common reason people seek tooth replacement. A gap can ruin the appearance of an otherwise beautiful smile.
  • Functionality – A missing tooth can make it difficult to chew food properly, which can impact digestion. It can also make clear speech difficult or impossible because the tongue’s position in relation to teeth is essential for forming certain sounds.
  • Oral health – When a tooth is missing, other teeth begin shifting toward the gap. That affects more than the appearance of your smile. Misaligned teeth are more challenging to clean, increasing the risk of decay.

What are dental bridges?

There are two standard types of dental bridges. One is an implant bridge. It can replace any number of missing teeth and is supported by dental implants, which are surgically placed in the bone. The second and more familiar type is called crown and bridgework. It is a single unit composed of one or more replacement teeth attached to dental crowns. This type of bridge is usually used to replace a single tooth or a small number of teeth. The crowns are affixed to natural teeth adjacent to the gap, holding the replacement tooth or teeth in place.

About the procedure

The procedure for a classic dental bridge is very similar to that of a dental crown. Dr. VanDyke will design the restoration and determine which teeth will support the bridge. She will need to reduce the size of those teeth, shape them to accommodate dental crowns, and then take impressions. Typically, temporary restorations are added to protect the prepared teeth while a laboratory creates your new bridge.

When the bridge is ready, you will return to our office for a follow-up. At this appointment, temporary restorations are removed, and the teeth are cleaned. Next, the bridge is attached to your prepared teeth using dental cement. When the procedure is complete, your smile will look natural, and your teeth will be fully functional.

Get started today

Whether you are considering a dental bridge for front teeth or anywhere in your mouth, you can count on the team at Kentwood Family Dental Care. Just call us at (616) 656-5776 to schedule an appointment.