Tooth loss can cause a number of problems ranging from oral health issues to self-consciousness and poor self-esteem. Fortunately, there are several restoration options available in cosmetic dentistry that allow patients to replace a missing tooth with a durable prosthetic and enjoy a better quality of life. One of these options is a dental bridge, which fills a gap between two adjacent teeth by anchoring a false tooth to these surrounding teeth. Patients who need restorative dental treatment after they’ve lost a tooth may be excellent candidates for dental bridges.
Dr. Marc Lazare is one of the most renowned general and cosmetic dentists in New York City. He is pleased to offer dental bridges as an option to patients from all walks of life in Manhattan and the greater New York City area. Let’s take a closer look at what dental bridges are and how they can help patients restore their smiles and achieve optimal oral health.
The Definition of a Dental Bridge
A dental bridge is designed to replace one or more missing teeth. It is an artificial tooth that is secured into place and supported by surrounding natural teeth. Fortunately, a bridge looks and feels like a natural tooth and can allow patients to chew and eat normally. In addition, a dental bridge may help patients speak without any issues, as bridges can fill in the gaps between teeth affecting positively the tongue’s placement and how patients sound.
Benefits of Dental Bridge Placement
There are a number of reasons patients may benefit from the placement of dental bridges. Perhaps the greatest benefit of dental bridges is the fact that they offer a natural look. Dr. Lazare is an advocate for dental bridges as an option to replace missing teeth because when patients speak, smile, or laugh, nobody will know that they have a dental bridge in their mouth.
Dental bridges are also nearly identical to natural teeth visually. Patients with bridges can eat their favorite foods and chew as they did before tooth loss. Caring for dental bridges is easy. Dr. Lazare suggests that patients simply brush and floss their teeth every day as normal and visit the dentist on a regular basis to ensure their bridges stay in tip-top shape. This restorative treatment does not require any special instructions or alter a patient’s lifestyle in any way.
Good Candidates for Dental Bridges
Most patients who are missing one or more teeth are eligible for dental bridges. Dental bridges are a wonderful option, especially when one is not a great candidate for replacing a tooth with a dental implant. Before performing a dental bridge procedure, Dr. Lazare makes sure that the patient has two healthy and strong teeth on each side of the missing tooth or teeth.
If Dr. Lazare determines a patient is not a good candidate for a dental bridge, he will recommend an alternative solution. A consultation is a great way for patients to find out if a dental bridge is right for them.
What to Expect During a Dental Bridge Consultation
Prior to undergoing a dental bridge procedure, patients will need to meet with Dr. Lazare in a one-on-one consultation at his New York City office. During the consultation, Dr. Lazare will examine the patient’s teeth, gums, and mouth and determine whether a dental bridge is a good solution for their missing tooth or teeth.
If Dr. Lazare decides that a dental bridge is the best option, he may share before and after pictures and recommend a specific type of dental bridge to the patient. The consultation is the perfect time for patients to learn about the procedure and the process and ask questions.
Different Types of Dental Bridges
The two types of dental bridges Dr. Lazare uses for patients include fixed bridges and removable bridges. Fixed bridges involve placing dental implants for implant-supported bridges or preparing the natural adjacent teeth to support this type of restoration. They are considered permanent solutions to missing teeth. Dr. Lazare may recommend a Maryland Bridge, which is a non-invasive fixed bridge that secures a tooth to the other teeth using metal or resin and does not make any changes to the adjacent teeth. Removable bridges are not permanently attached to the mouth and can be removed for cleaning.
Standard Dental Bridge Procedure
Dr. Lazare designs a unique treatment plan for every patient. If a patient requires a standard bridge procedure, they will need to visit our office at least twice.
The initial appointment will start with Dr. Lazare administering a local anesthetic to numb the mouth in the area being worked on to avoid any discomfort. He will then prepare the teeth on both sides of the missing teeth or tooth so that they will have room for the surrounding crown material and a false tooth known as a pontic to fill the gap. An impression or digital scan will be taken so that it can be sent to a dental lab and the dental bridge can be manufactured. Dr. Lazare will place a temporary dental bridge to maintain esthetics and chewing comfort until the final bride is fitted and bonded into place.
Maryland Dental Bridge Procedure
Just like with the standard bridge procedure, the Maryland dental bridge procedure usually requires two appointments. Dr. Lazare will start by preparing the surrounding teeth on one or both sides of the missing teeth or tooth for the pontic (dummy tooth). In most cases, he will create a conservative groove as part of the preparation. Then, he’ll take a dental impression or digital scan that will be sent to the dental lab. During the second appointment, Dr. Lazare will use a dental cement or bonding material to secure the wings of the bridge to the teeth.
Removable Dental Bridge Procedure
Removable dental bridge procedures vary. In some cases, Dr. Lazare will provide the bridge to the patient as an orthodontist may provide them with a retainer. He will explain how to safely take the bridge in and out and how to care for it. Sometimes, removable bridges are designed to snap over existing teeth or fixtures in the mouth in order to cover the gap.
Recovering from a Dental Bridge Procedure
Once patients receive dental bridges, they might experience some mild teeth sensitivity. For this reason, Dr. Lazare seals the prepared teeth and places temporary bridges over the teeth while the final bridges are being created by his dental lab.
Dental Bridge Materials
Typically, dental bridges are comprised of porcelain, metal, or porcelain fused to metal. If a patient requires a dental bridge that is metal-free, Zirconia or e-max brides are two materials that can be used. Although Zirconia is usually stronger than e-max, e-max features aesthetic properties and look more natural.
Caring for Dental Bridges
Although it’s always important for patients to brush and floss their teeth and visit their dentist on a regular basis, it’s even more imperative if they have dental bridges. Poor oral hygiene can result in the buildup of plaque, which can lead to infected teeth and gums. In the event that this occurs, patients may compromise and potentially lose their bridge and require extensive dental treatment. Dr. Lazare encourages patients with dental bridges to make their oral health a priority so that their bridges can last for many, many years.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Bridges
Dental bridges are used to replace a missing tooth or teeth with permanent or removable fixtures. Dr. Lazare offers standard dental bridges, Maryland dental bridges, and removable dental bridges to patients in the New York, NY area.
Some people incorrectly assume that a missing tooth is no big deal. Teeth can tilt and drift when there is no tooth adjacent or opposing them. This can cause the surrounding teeth to experience malocclusions or bite discomfort and sensitivity. A missing tooth can also be difficult to clean and lead to cavities and other serious health problems. Dental bridges are often the ideal way to resolve missing teeth and the problems that stem from them.
Sometimes, people use the terms dental bridge and crown interchangeably. The reality is they have different functions. Dental crowns are prosthetic caps that are placed over broken, chipped, or worn teeth. They are effective in strengthening the teeth and preventing tooth decay. Dental bridges are designed to bridge the gap created by one or more missing teeth.
Dental implants are implanted into the jawbone. Dental bridges differ in that they are supported by the natural teeth on both sides of the missing teeth/tooth.
If you take good care of your teeth, you can expect your dental bridge to last anywhere from 10 to 15 years and posiibly many more years beyond, depending on how you care for them and how strong the supporting teeth were to begin with. You are welcome to schedule an appointment with Dr. Lazare if you believe you are in need of a new dental bridge.
Prior to a dental bridge procedure, Dr. Lazare will numb the area with a very strong numbing gel (topical anesthetic) and then administer the local anesthetic once the patient is already starting to feel numb grom the gel so they are very comfortable. Dr. Lazare will test the area to make certain the patient is very numb and comfortable before starting any procedure.
Believe it or not, a dental bridge can make eating easier because it will allow you to chew without any issues. Dr. Lazare encourages dental bridge patients to eat softer foods first and they eat as they feel comfortable so they can gradually transition into eating like normal with their bridge.
As with any custom dental care, bridges can be relativly expensive. However, their benefits typically outweigh the costs for most patients. If you are concerned about paying for a dental bridge, know that our team will work with you to design a payment plan that comfortably aligns with your budget and lifestyle needs. Regardless of whether or not you have dental insurance, we’ll work with you to ensure this procedure is affordable. We believe that finances shouldn’t prevent you from finding a solution for your missing teeth.
You may hear us use the term “restorative dentistry” often. Restorative dentistry is a phrase that professionals in the dental world use when they explain how they replace teeth, or parts or teeth, that are damaged or missing. While bridges are one of the more common restorative procedures, there are also fillings, crowns, implants, porcelain veneers, dentures and the ultra conservative Biomimetic dental techniques that Dr. Lazare has mastered.
If you’re searching for an experienced, compassionate cosmetic dentist to place a dental bridge, look no further. Dr. Lazare has been featured in many dental journals and become know as dentists to NYC’s VIPs and clebrities, having supplied a variety of cosmetic and restorative dental treatments to celebrities such as Cindy Adams, Neil Sedaka, Jill Zarin, and Liza Minnelli.
When you visit Dr. Lazare for a dental bridge consultation, you can expect him to take the time to thoroughly evaluate your mouth and determine what type of bridge is ideal for your situation. He will be there for you to answer any questions or address any concerns before, during, or after the procedure.
If you’re ready to restore your missing teeth and become a healthier, happier version of yourself, schedule a dental bridge and implant consultation with Dr. Lazare in Manhattan, New York City. Call our office today at 646-846-2465 to schedule an appointment or fill out our handy online contact form. We look forward to meeting you and helping you achieve your dream smile.