Improve Your Smile and Gain Functionality With Dental Bridges

A missing tooth can make you feel self-conscious, but it can also impact the functionality of your mouth. The knowledgeable and experienced dentists at The Masters Dental Group in San Antonio, Texas, provide many options for replacing a missing tooth — including dental implants, partial dentures, and dental bridges

A dental bridge may be particularly alluring because, unlike an implant, it doesn’t require a surgical procedure. If you’re considering your tooth replacement options, this blog helps explain how bridges improve the look and function of your smile.

Understanding dental bridges

This dental device is used to “bridge” the gap caused by a missing tooth. A bridge consists of a prosthetic tooth, called a pontic, and two abutments — crowns on your natural teeth that anchor the bridge in place. Unlike dentures, you don’t need to remove a bridge. It’s firmly secured in place. 

Improving your smile

Dental bridges fill in the missing gap to enhance the look of your smile. Although bridges can be made of several different types of material, and we discuss all of your material options during your consultation, we often recommend porcelain.

Dental porcelain is strong and durable, but it also mimics the natural translucency and pearly finish of your natural teeth. This means your bridge will blend in with your natural teeth, and no one will know you have a bridge — unless you tell them!

Dental bridges enhance the look of your smile in another way, too. Because your teeth help support the muscles in your face, missing teeth can cause your facial muscles to sink in, creating an asymmetrical appearance. Bridges help prevent a sunken appearance, retaining symmetry in your face.

Restoring functionality 

Although improving the look of your smile might be the driving factor in seeking a dental bridge, it’s important to note that bridges do more than just improve the look of your smile. A bridge can:

Gaps and spaces left by missing teeth can increase the chance that your teeth shift. Shifting teeth can cause discomfort in your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and issues with your bite. A bridge helps to ensure that your remaining teeth don’t shift out of place.

What is the process like?

If a dental bridge is the solution for you, you need two appointments to complete the process. At the first appointment, we prepare your anchor teeth (the abutments), take impressions for your bridge, and seat a temporary bridge. At the second appointment, we place your permanent bridge, securing it with dental cement.

Is a bridge the right answer for you?

It can be a challenge to decide between bridges, dentures, or implants, but you don’t have to make this decision alone. During a one-on-one consultation at our office, we can discuss all of your tooth replacement options. We’re happy to share more about how dental bridges can improve the form and function of your smile.

Don’t wait to replace a missing tooth. Schedule an appointment today at The Masters Dental Group.

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