Dental Bridges Can Improve Function and Aesthetics

Patients missing one to three consecutive teeth are typically eligible for dental bridges, which can balance a misaligned bite, fill gaps in your smile, and reduce your risk of further tooth loss. Dr. Ron L. Shiver offers zirconia bridges at our Valdosta, GA, office, as they offer greater durability and a more natural-looking appearance compared with other types of bridges. In just two weeks, you can enjoy a fully functional and more beautiful smile. 

Illustration showing steps of traditional dental bridge placement

A traditional dental bridge is secured by crowns placed over the adjacent teeth.

Do You Need a Dental Bridge?

In order to qualify for this restorative treatment, you must have healthy gums free from disease. Additionally, if you choose a traditional restoration, the teeth adjacent to the gap in your smile bust be healthy and free from decay. If you are missing a larger number of teeth, Dr. Shiver may recommend an alternative restorative option such as a partial denture.

Regardless of the number of teeth you are missing, replacing them is critical to your oral health. Gaps in your smile can increase your risk of periodontal disease and may lead to your other teeth drifting out of alignment.

Types of Dental Bridges Offered by Dr. Shiver

Dr. Shiver offers porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) bridges, as well as all-zirconia bridges. Traditional bridges are secured with two dental crowns over the nearby, healthy teeth. While both materials offer a natural appearance, zirconia more closely resembles the appearance of our natural teeth, giving all-zirconia bridges a more lifelike look. Both options are strong and durable, so your decision may be based on which teeth you are replacing. If you are replacing teeth at the front of your smile, zirconia blends more naturally with your smile. If you are replacing back teeth, a PFM bridge may be more appropriate.

In addition to offering traditional restorations, Dr. Shiver may recommend securing your bridge with dental implants. This method offers unparalleled stability and he can perform all steps of the treatment, including surgical placement, in our office.

What You Can Expect During Your Procedure

After evaluating your teeth and gums to ensure you are a good candidate for a traditional bridge, Dr. Shiver can begin reshaping the nearby teeth. These teeth are carefully reduced in size to create additional room for the crowns they will support. Once those teeth are modified, Dr. Shiver will take precise impressions of your bite.

While both materials offer a natural appearance, zirconia more closely resembles the appearance of our natural teeth, giving all-zirconia bridges a more lifelike look.

We will send these impressions to a dental lab where a skilled technician will use them to craft your custom bridge, either from zirconia or porcelain and metal. Since this process can take up to two weeks, Dr. Shiver will usually place a temporary restoration to protect against sensitivity. When your dental bridge is ready, you will return to our office where Dr. Shiver will cement the restoration in place.

How these Restorations Can Improve Your Smile

Functionally, a dental bridge will restore your ability to eat the foods you love and speak clearly. It will also prevent your teeth from shifting into the gap left by your missing teeth. Aesthetically, the lifelike bridge will give you a more beautiful smile you can feel confident in.

Learn More About Your Dental Bridge Options

Missing teeth can significantly impact your quality of life and treatment is important to protect your oral health. Contact our office online or call (229) 247-0923 to set up an appointment with Dr. Shiver and learn more.

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