San Francisco area patients ask, “How long do dental bridges last?”
Drs. Terri Nguyen and Laura T. Huynh of San Francisco, CA are dentists who work regularly with patients who are experiencing conditions such as tooth loss. When teeth are lost or extracted, the entire smile is affected. This includes not only appearance and function but also health. It is essential for patients to speak with their dental team about the benefits of replacing teeth in an economical and effective way to reduce the aftereffects of tooth loss. This can be done with:
- Dental bridges
- Dental implants
At West Portal Family Dentistry, patients are welcome to ask our team about the advantages of using dental bridges to achieve the smile of their dreams after the loss of one or more natural teeth.
Dental bridges explained
A dental bridge is a restoration that “bridges the gap” between teeth. A tooth that has been lost but has adjacent teeth available can be replaced effectively with a dental bridge. Dental bridges include false teeth fused to crowns on each end. The crowns are made to fit over the adjacent teeth to anchor and support the restoration and allow the replacement tooth to fit in the place where it is needed.
Dental bridges are fabricated from porcelain. It is a strong and durable material that mimics the appearance of natural tooth enamel, making it great for restorations. Porcelain can still break, however, so it is important that patients take great care in not chewing on hard objects such as ice cubes, as this can affect the integrity of the restoration.
Why choose a dental bridge?
Dental bridges are often a great middle-of-the-road option for our patients. While dentures are often chosen, they are removable, and some patients are seeking a fixed option that doesn’t require daily removal. This is when some patients may see the benefits of placing a dental bridge in their smiles. Additionally, while dental implants are considered the “gold standard” in tooth replacement, they are not always affordable for patients. They cost more, which can result in many patients turning away from the idea of using them to replace teeth. Dental bridges are a wonderful option for patients looking for a balance of cost and permanency.
Who is a candidate for a dental bridge?
Anyone who is missing one or more teeth in a row can consider a dental bridge. Because dental bridges are made of porcelain, patients do not have to worry about using metal for their smile.
What is the process of obtaining a dental bridge?
The entire process starts with a consultation appointment with Drs. Terri Nguyen or Laura T. Huynh at West Portal Family Dentistry. This appointment is a wonderful time for patients to speak to their dental team and explain the desires they have when it comes to replacing their missing teeth. The team will discuss with patients the pros and cons of each type of restoration and help them make an educated decision regarding what might be most appropriate for the results they desire. Once patients choose to have a bridge, preparations need to be made. This includes removing a portion of the enamel on the adjacent teeth on which the crowns will be placed. Once prepared, impressions are taken and sent to a dental laboratory for the fabrication of the final restoration of high-quality porcelain materials. The ceramist will match the shape, size, and color of existing teeth to ensure the dental bridge blends in with the natural smile. The restoration is sent to the dental office, patients return to have the bridge-bonded into place, and the process is complete.
Interested in discussing dental bridges or other restorative solutions with our team?
Contact Drs. Terri Nguyen and Laura T. Huynh of West Portal Family Dentistry in San Francisco, CA to find out if a dental bridge is right for you. We are conveniently located at 26 West Portal Avenue, Suite #4 and can be reached by phone at (415) 661-7779.