Not all dental issues can be resolved with a typical crown restoration. In some cases, the only solution for extensive dental damage is extraction–or the complete removal of a tooth. Extraction is not always the ideal choice as it can alter the overall aesthetic and function of your teeth, as the procedure can change bone structure, reduce chewing function, and cause pain or discomfort.
But there’s good news. Several options to restore your missing tooth exist, and a dental bridge is one such procedure that does an excellent job of restoring the look and function of your smile after a tooth extraction.
People from the Shavano Park and Castle Hills communities are seeking the hard work of our experienced San Antonio family dentist, Dr. Kevin Sandefer, of Alon Dental Care for his expertise in dental restorations such as dental bridges and dental implants. Through these effective methods, the teeth surrounding the extraction can be preserved while keeping the overall look of your beautiful smile in mind.
Understanding Dental Bridges
The healthy teeth surrounding an extraction site can suffer damage and collapse if no dental bridge or other restoration technique is implemented, resulting in what is known as a super eruption. This usually occurs when teeth around the gap attempt to merge into the space made available, thus shifting the whole alignment of the teeth.
Misaligned teeth can also cause biting issues like occlusal prematurities. Not only do these shifts result in biting issues, but they can also cause bruxism, also known as teeth grinding. The grinding of the teeth while asleep can cause great discomfort and future dental complications if left unchecked. Thanks to the advances in modern dentistry, a dental bridge can remedy the aforementioned complications.
The teeth that surround the extraction site are a vital component in supporting a dental bridge. Two or more crowns are anchored to surrounding teeth–also known as abutment teeth–to bridge the gap of the missing tooth.
The false tooth is then placed and secured by the abutment bridge. Several materials can be used to create the replacement tooth. Usually, a naturally-colored one is preferred. Dr, Sandefer aims to make the bridge look natural and appealing while keeping function as a top priority.
The Dental Restoration Process
In your first dental bridge appointment, Dr. Sandefer will prepare the abutment teeth by reshaping their surface. Recontouring the enamel of the tooth makes way for the crowns that will hold the “dummy tooth” in place.
The dentist will continue by taking impressions of this temporary bridge to create models for the permanent bridge, pontic, and crowns. In order to protect the exposed teeth and gums, the temporary bridge will be set in place.
By the second visit, your temporary bridge will be removed and replaced by the completed bridge. After being fit in place, adjustments will be made, and within a few weeks, the permanent dental bridge is ready to be set in with dental cement.
An alternative option to the dental bridge is a dental implant. If you choose this option instead, Dr. Sandefer will refer you out to a trusted professional Periodontist or Oral Surgeon.
The surgeon will create a small incision in the tooth extraction site to place a “root form”. This root is a titanium metal cylinder that allows bone to integrate into it. A crown, or false tooth, is placed about the new metal dental root. It will fuse into place as the bone grows into the osseous titanium. Dr. Sandefer will handle all aspects of the restorative process after implant has healed.
San Antonio’s Trusted Dental Restoration Specialists
Over 15 years of practicing general and cosmetic dentistry have allowed Dr. Kevin Sandefer to specialize in dental bridges. His special brand of dentistry can help any person wishing to remedy a missing tooth with this effective alternative method.