Dental Bridges in Sunnyvale
Durable replacements for Missing Teeth
A dental bridge is used to replace one or more missing teeth. Replacement teeth made from porcelain are cemented to your own natural teeth which have been altered to act as anchors for the bridge.
Dental bridges are made from porcelain fused to metal or, in the appropriate circumstances, Dr. Au can also make an all-ceramic bridge.
Dental Implants for Missing Teeth
While dental bridges have been a very workable solution for missing teeth for many years, recent advances in implant dentistry have made dental implants the preferred solutions for most dentists. Dr. Au recommends dental implants for missing teeth as they are a more natural solution.
Bridges require adjacent, often healthy, teeth to be cut down in order to be capped so that the false teeth can be cemented to them. This is an irreversible process and cutting down teeth can weaken the teeth, making them more vulnerable to decay.
Dental implants look, feel and act like natural teeth and, when the treatment is done properly, can last a lifetime.
The Benefits Of Dental Bridges
Dental implants may be our preferred method of restoring missing teeth at Silicon Valley Dental Associates, but dental bridges do have some unique benefits that may make them a better choice for some patients.
- No surgery needed – Unlike a dental implant, there is no need to operate on the gums or jaw bone. To place a dental bridge, the adjacent teeth must be prepared for crowns, but this process is less invasive compared to having a dental implant placed. If you are nervous about the idea of oral surgery for dental implants, a dental bridge can be an appealing alternative.
- Not affected by bone resorption – If you have had a missing tooth for several years, the underlying bone has probably deteriorated. It may not be strong enough to hold a dental implant without additional treatments like a bone graft. However, dental bridges can be applied to the teeth even if your jaw has weakened due to tooth loss.
- Faster treatment time compared to implants – A dental bridge usually takes 2-3 appointments over a period of a few weeks. Implants may take 3-6 months, without taking into account preparation procedures like tooth extraction, alveoloplasty and bone grafting.
- Usually at least partially covered by insurance – Dental implants and dental bridges are usually fairly comparable in price. However, dental bridges are usually covered, at least partially, by dental insurance. Dental implants are typically not covered by insurance. If you have dental insurance, bridges may be a more affordable option.
The Dental Bridge Placement Process
Having a bridge built and placed typically takes two appointments over a period of 2-3 weeks. In some cases, though, you may need to come in for additional appointments to refine the fit of your bridge.
The procedure starts with the preparation process. Dr. Colin Au will clean your teeth, and then prepare two healthy “abutment” teeth next to your missing tooth to create a suitable surface for the dental crowns to attach. Then, impressions and images of your teeth will be taken. These are sent to a third-party dental lab, where your custom crown will be built.
You’ll be sent home with temporary crowns or a temporary bridge to protect your teeth. In a few weeks, your bridge will arrive at Silicon Valley Dental Associates. Then, you’ll come in for your follow-up appointment.
Dr. Colin Au will check your bridge to make sure it fits perfectly. If everything looks good, he will bond it permanently to your teeth using dental cement.
Is A Dental Bridge Right For Me?
If you are on a budget, want to replace a missing tooth quickly, and your dental insurance covers most of the cost of a dental bridge, it may be a good option for you.
However, bridges are still not our preferred method of restoring teeth at Silicon Valley Dental. This is because you must have healthy tooth enamel removed to support the crowns of your dental bridge. Also, a bridge will not support the health and strength of your jaw like a dental implant would.
If you’re still not sure if you should choose a dental bridge or a dental implant, we recommend contacting Dr. Colin Au for a consultation. Dr. Au can explain the pros and cons of each procedure in further detail, and give you a cost estimate for both bridges and implants.
$49 Exam, X-rays and Consultation
Modern technology has made implants accessible to most people. In the past people were refused this treatment alternative if they had certain health conditions or habits, such as smoking, or if they had too little bone. These issues are no longer an impediment to treatment with implants and now the majority of patients can take advantage of this technology.
Dr. Au offers a New Patient Special of exam, X-rays and consultation to evaluate what treatment options would best suit your case, and budget. He’ll go over how the procedures work and the pros and cons of each, answering any questions you have. Only $49.
To make an appointment, call 408‑245‑5812 or click here to request an appointment online.