If you are missing one tooth or several in a row, Dr. Van O’Dell can create a custom dental bridge to close the gap. Dental bridges provided at our North Little Rock, AR, practice are designed to restore the function and balance of your bite, as well as the aesthetics of your smile.
A bridge is comprised of one or more artificial teeth, or pontics, nestled between two dental crowns.
Traditional and Implant-supported Bridges
Dr. O’Dell offers both traditional and implant-supported bridges. Traditional dental bridges consist of replacement teeth (called pontics) secured by dental crowns placed on the adjacent teeth. Implant-supported bridges are supported by dental implants. While implant bridges provide superior stability, not all patients are candidates for this solution. During your consultation, we can determine which type of bridge is best for your needs.
Dental Bridge Candidates
A traditional dental bridge uses adjacent teeth as anchors for the bridge. Therefore, candidates for traditional bridges need to have adjacent teeth that can be crowned. The adjacent teeth should also be free from dental decay. For patients with severe gum disease, Dr. O’Dell must perform periodontal treatment before proceeding with the bridge.
Implant bridge candidates must have adequate bone density at the implant sites. The prolonged absence of teeth will cause jawbone tissue to recede. If your jaw is compromised, you may be able to undergo a bone graft to restore lost bone tissue, allowing you to receive dental implants.
For a traditional bridge, Dr. O’Dell will first prepare the adjacent teeth for crowns by reshaping the teeth. Next, he will take impressions of your teeth to send to the dental lab, where technicians will fabricate your bridge to his specifications. He has worked with the same lab for over 25 years and they consistently provide high-quality restorations. Dr. O’Dell will place a temporary bridge while the permanent bridge is being crafted. Once the bridge is finished, you will return to our office so that Dr. O’Dell can cement the permanent bridge in place.
Dr. O’Dell places and restores mini dental implants. However, if you require traditional implants (which have about twice the diameter) he will partner with an oral surgeon in his building. Once the implants are in place, and the four- to six-month healing period is complete, Dr. O’Dell can attach a custom-made bridge.
Benefits of Dental Bridges
Both traditional bridges and implant-supported bridges can greatly enhance your appearance by replacing missing teeth. A bridge can improve your ability to chew, and help you to enunciate. Patients often experience boosted confidence after receiving a custom bridge. Meanwhile, implant-supported bridges offer the added benefit of preventing bone atrophy. Implants are not usually covered by insurance plans, but if you wish to receive implants, we can work with you to determine a payment plan that fits your budget.