fixed dental bridges

If you are missing a tooth, a permanent dental bridge can often be made to replace it. It should look and feel natural, without hooks or clasps, and stay in permanently, allowing totally normal function. When teeth are missing the remaining teeth begin to change position, and this can lead to numerous problems, including loss of more teeth. A fixed bridge will prevent teeth from shifting, and stabilize your bite. To have a bridge made, call the dental office so the doctor can evaluate the area and discuss specifics with you.

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Before Dental Bridge

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 After Dental Bridge

This gentleman had been wearing a removable denture for many years.  With his business growing he felt the need to have a better smile for his professional life as well as his personal self-image.  Needless to say he is extremely happy with restorations that feel like real teeth and look great!  Dental implants would have been another option to support the missing teeth either with bridges or permanent dentures.

metal-free bridge

The ability to place all porcelain bridges built on a zirconium core has dramatically improved the esthetic results possible when replacing missing teeth.  They have the strength of the old style porcelain to metal bridges with much more natural appearance.  They will never develop the grey line at the gumline associated with porcelain to metal restorations. Teeth whitening was applied to the remaining teeth. Dr. Tenney is always appreciative when great patients select us over the many cosmetic dentists in Phoenix.

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Before Porcelain Bridge

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After All Porcelain Bridge

If you are looking for an excellent Phoenix cosmetic dentist, sedation dentistry or help with sleep apnea, contact Desert Smiles in Glendale.


Are there different types of porcelain bridges?

There are different types of fixed bridges that we place at Desert Smiles. As mentioned above, where possible we’re using zirconium for the bases of our bridges.

  • Traditional bridge — This is the most common bridge and is described elsewhere on this page. It involves two crowns on each side of the gap and the artificial tooth or teeth in between them.
  • Cantilever bridges — When there are healthy teeth on just one side of the missing teeth, a cantilever bridge is used. Two crowns are placed on the one side and the bridge in this case is more akin to a balcony.
  • Maryland bridges — These bridges are typically used on the front teeth. Maryland bridges don’t use crowns as anchors. Instead, bands are cemented to the back surfaces of the supporting teeth.

Who is a candidate for a dental bridge?

It’s tempting to put off replacing a missing tooth, particularly if it’s a molar that isn’t readily visible. But that’s a bad idea for a variety of reasons. First, teeth stay put due to the pressure placed on them by neighboring teeth. When a tooth is missing, the adjacent teeth tend to slide over into the gap. This creates alignment and bite problems.

Here are the reasons a person would opt for a bridge replace a tooth or teeth:

  • To complete your smile
  • To prevent adjacent teeth from moving
  • To restore chewing and biting capability
  • To distribute the bite forces to not overload other teeth
  • To restore your speaking diction
  • To maintain the shape of your face

How long can I expect my dental bridge to last?

Dental bridges have a varying lifespan from five to 15 years, but they can last longer. The health of the abutment teeth is usually the determinant. Also, it depends on the types of foods you eat with your bridge. Hard foods and overly chewy, sticky foods can shorten the lifespan. But if you use some forethought about the foods you eat with your bridge, and with good home hygiene, bridges can last a long time.


What is the process of getting a dental bridge?

Receiving a bridge from Dr. Tenney involves two office visits. During your first appointment, we prepare the abutment teeth for their crowns. First, we need to make room for the crowns, so a portion of the enamel is shaved off the healthy teeth on all sides and the top. The crowns will completely cover the natural teeth down to the gumline. We then take impressions and photos of your teeth to send to the dental lab to use when fabricating your bridge. While we are awaiting your bridge, we place a temporary bridge that we make in-house also using your impressions.

Once your bridge is finished, you return for your second appointment. Dr. Tenney checks the fit and color match with your natural teeth. He adjusts the fit as needed. If you desire, we can place the bridge with temporary cement so that you can try out the fit for a day or two at home. Once satisfied, your bridge is permanently cemented onto your abutment teeth and you’re finished.


Is it painful to get a dental bridge?

There really isn’t any discomfort when Dr. Tenney is preparing your teeth for your bridge or when placing it. Local anesthetic is used when the teeth are shaved down to make room for the crowns. There isn’t any residual pain or recovery; these are straightforward options for replacing a missing tooth.


Is there recovery after receiving a bridge?

There isn’t any recovery. After the first appointment when Dr. Tenney prepares your two abutment teeth for their crowns, there can be some tooth sensitivity due to the enamel he has shaved down, but this is fleeting. He places a temporary bridge while we are awaiting the fabrication of your custom bridge. When he cements your final bridge onto your teeth, there isn’t any pain or subsequent recovery.


What kind of dental care will my dental bridge need?

Care for your bridge is basically the same as your normal home hygiene — brushing twice a day for two minutes and flossing once a day — with one caveat. You’ll need to clean under the bridge where it sits atop your gum tissue. You can do this with dental floss and a floss threader, or you can use what is called an interdental brush. This is a thin brush with bristles (the GUM brand is the predominant manufacturer) that you can easily slide under the bottom of your bridge. You can also use a Waterpik.

The goal of your cleaning is to remove any food particles and plaque that have accumulated under the bridge on top of your gum tissue.


Schedule a Dental Bridges Consult with Dr. Tenney!

To learn more about Dental Bridges or to determine whether you are a candidate for the procedure, please feel free to book a personalized consult with top cosmetic dentist Dr. Nathan Tenney. Call (602) 734-0050 to reach our office, or fill out the appointment request form below and our talented staff will help you set up your meeting. Our practice looks forward to serving you!

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