Dental Bridges Williamsport, PA

Dental Bridges An Overview

A dental bridge can replace one or more consecutive teeth, restoring both aesthetics and function to your smile with natural-looking results. Today’s dental patients enjoy the many advances made in materials, techniques and treatment options when it comes to tooth replacement, from traditional bridges, implant supported bridges and the option for porcelain restorations. Dr. Joyce Kim is an experienced restorative dentist in Williamsport with advanced training in all aspects of your care. She will work with you on an individual basis to determine the most suitable option for your needs, goals and budget.

Today’s dental bridges are often fixed, secured by dental implants or existing natural teeth that can be strengthened by placing dental crowns. Fixed bridges alleviate the need for daily adhesives and special cleaning and offer the most stable and natural result. Patients can once again enjoy eating a varied diet that includes all of their favorite foods. Your dental bridge will be color matched to your existing natural teeth and overall appearance, restoring both your smile and your confidence in sharing it with others each day. The personalized approach we offer at Loyalsock Dental is the foundation for an optimal patient experience and outcome. Our goal is to help you restore not only the structure of your mouth but your daily quality of life.

Dental Bridge vs. Dental Implants: What to Consider

When replacing one tooth, most patients will be considered candidates for both a dental bridge and dental implants. Choosing the right option should be the result of a comprehensive evaluation and patient education during your consultation. Dr. Kim will present you with her findings from your exam, recommendations and details about available options including the commitment of time and money. In addition, there are several key factors to consider:

  • Jaw bone structure: the condition of your dental health and bone tissue in the jaw will play a role in your candidacy for implants or the need for pre-treatment grafting.
  • Stability of the restoration: dental implants are the closest thing to your natural tooth. Anchored into the jaw bone, implants allow patients to enjoy eating whatever they want, brush and floss normally, and have unaffected speech. The placement of a dental bridge will impact the neighboring teeth. If one of the anchor teeth fails over time, it compromises the dental bridge.
  • Cost of treatment: in almost all cases a dental bridge will be less costly up front, but dental implants will typically provide a stable, lasting solution and are less likely to need repair or replacement in the future.
  • Procedure and recovery time: dental implants have an initial surgical phase for placing the post into the jaw, followed by a healing time of several months. During this time, we can place a temporary bridge to restore function.

Dental Bridges What to Expect

Dr. Kim will explain all aspects of your procedure once the type of dental bridge is decided upon. If implants are being used to replace your missing tooth or to secure a new dental bridge, we will work with you to schedule the surgical implantation with a local specialist. We will follow up with you and monitor your recovery, scheduling the restoration of the implant or attachment of your bridge when the gums and soft tissues have healed. Dental impressions will be taken after the healing period and your new implant will be custom made to blend naturally with your smile.

If existing teeth are being used to anchor your bridge, the placement of dental crowns is often part of your overall treatment plan. A dental crown will help to stabilize the bridge by strengthening the tooth, providing a more secure foundation and long term result. Once the crowns are placed, dental impressions will be taken and your new bridge will be fabricated in a dental lab. Dr. Kim will secure the bridge once complete.

Caring for your new bridge will include daily brushing and flossing. If there are specific needs for other daily maintenance, depending on the type of restoration you receive, we will explain how to care for your new smile after the restoration is placed.

Dental Bridges FAQs

Does a dental bridge feel normal?

No matter what kind of bridge you get, it’ll take a bit of an adjustment to get used to. Your mouth should be used to it within two weeks. A fixed bridge will feel much like your normal teeth, while a removable bridge will feel a bit different.

How do I clean my dental bridge?

Often, fixed dental bridges can be cleaned with brushing and flossing like normal, while removable bridges are removed to clean. But food can get stuck in the space between your restoration and the rest of your mouth. Floss threaders and interdental brushes can help to clean effectively around the restoration.

How long does a dental bridge last?

Modern dental bridges made with quality materials can often last for 10-15 years or more, as long as they’re taken care of well.

Is getting a dental bridge painful?

No, you shouldn’t experience pain during the process. For a traditional dental bridge, we do need to shape the anchor teeth so that the bridge fits over them comfortably. We numb the area around these teeth so that you’re comfortable throughout the procedure.

How long should I wait to eat after getting a dental bridge?

If we use a local anesthetic during the procedure, wait until it wears off to eat. We also recommend waiting for an hour after the procedure to allow the cement to fully cure and harden. For the first few days, avoid hard and sticky foods, as these can damage the restoration.

Am I a good candidate for a dental bridge?

To get a traditional dental bridge, the teeth on each side of the span must be strong and healthy, as they’ll have to anchor the bridge. They can’t show signs of weakness or decay. If you’re getting an implant-supported bridge, you’ll need enough healthy bone structure to support them.