The loss of one or more teeth due to decay or injury not only affects your smile, speech, facial structure and bite, it also compromises the health of the teeth around it. As an experienced cosmetic and restorative dentist in Charlotte, NC, Dr. Richard Van Gurp may recommend a dental bridge to restore your smile and reduce the stress on the surrounding teeth.
About Dental Bridges
A dental bridge quite simply fills the gap created by one or more missing teeth. As a permanent and natural looking treatment for the space created by the missing teeth, the bridge will re-establish the proper positioning of your teeth and normal function to your bite.
A dental bridge includes one or more replacement teeth that are connected to two or more crowns. The crowns are permanently bonded or cemented to the natural teeth on each side of the missing teeth. In some cases, Dr. Van Gurp may suggest dental implants to secure a bridge or partial denture.
Dental Bridge vs. Tooth Implants
For patients with missing teeth, the two main restoration options are bridges and implants. Dr. Van Gurp offers both treatments in his Charlotte dental office. After a thorough evaluation, he will recommend your treatment options and help you make the best choice for your situation.
The greatest benefit that dental implants have over bridges is that they are a more life-like restoration. The implant integrates with the bone to actually replace the tooth at its root. This allows for superior chewing function and long term durability.
Implants are not for everyone, however. Things that could disqualify you as a candidate for dental implants include bone condition, age, health and location of missing teeth.
Cost is another difference between dental implants and bridges. Typically, a dental implant is the more expensive choice, however it is also less likely to need maintenance and can for some, be less expensive in the long term.
Before & After Dental Bridge
Patrick was congenitally missing his two lateral front teeth. He had recently completed orthodontic treatment and he and his parents wanted a way to fill the gaps until he was old enough for dental implants.
Other complications existed including the fact that the front teeth were narrow, making the space wider than normal. Additionally, one front tooth was smaller than the other.
Dr. Van Gurp used conservative porcelain veneers on the fornt teeth to make them wider and more symmetrical and then placed a resin-bonded bridge with natural shaped prosthetic teeth.
"We have anticipated the moment of Patrick’s perfect smile for years. He has gone through years of missing teeth and braces waiting patiently for the moment that he could smile with confidence. Our prayers were answered when we walked through the doors of Van Gurp Dentistry. We would like to thank Dr. Van Gurp and his entire staff for their upmost professionalism, perfectionism, and expediency. Patrick began his senior year of high school with a new sense of pride due to his complete and perfect smile." - Patrick's Mom