Dr. James Furgurson is a talented restorative dentist that provides several missing teeth solutions. He offers dental bridges in Chapel Hill, NC as an option for patients missing one tooth or several missing teeth in a row. Missing teeth create embarrassing gaps in your smile that can affect your self-esteem. However, they can also lead to additional complex dental health problems including:
- Cause the surrounding teeth to shift
- Lead to painful bite problems
- Slowly causes bone loss in the jaw
- Can alter the natural shape of your face
- Cause premature aging
- Make it difficult to bite and chew food efficiently
- Lead to speech problems
- Put the patient at higher risk for further tooth loss, gum disease, and tooth decay
Our goal at Chapel Hill Family and Cosmetic Dentistry is to replace your missing teeth with the best option that will benefit your dental health and provide you with the most comfortable results. Dr. Furgurson will analyze your entire mouth to determine the best tooth replacement option for you. If he determines that a dental bridge is the best option for you, we will begin to prepare you for the procedure.
What is a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge is a fixed dental prosthesis that fills in the gaps where teeth are absent. Your dentist can use them to replace one tooth or several missing teeth in a row. It is a single piece dental restoration consisting of artificial teeth, called pontics, which are anchored to the adjacent natural teeth or dental implants. Dental bridges are custom made to blend in with the rest of the surrounding natural teeth.
Dental Bridges vs. Dental Implants
Your dentist can use a dental bridge to replace one or several missing teeth. An anchor on either side of the gap supports the bridgework to hold the false tooth (or teeth) in place. We can attach attach a bridge three different ways: with natural teeth, dental implants, or a combination of the two. When you use the natural teeth to support the bridgework, we will place a dental crown to provide additional stability.
As dental implants have become more advanced, we often recommend them for replacing a single lost or missing tooth; or to secure a dental bridge. Dental implants offer the most stable, natural functioning, and lasting treatment option for most patients. Our dentists are highly trained in implant dentistry, and work with patients on an individual basis to address missing teeth with the most suitable result.
About Dental Bridges
A traditional dental bridge and an implant supported bridge are both popular options for replacing missing teeth. They both have their own advantages and considerations. A conventional dental bridge is a faster treatment and can replace teeth in less than a month. The process is less invasive and does not require surgery. The cost is also significantly less.
However, placing a dental bridge will impact healthy, remaining teeth. The adjacent teeth will need to be reduced in size and reshaped to serve as anchor teeth for the bridge. This will weaken the teeth and make them more susceptible to decay and damage. A tooth bridge also does not replace the toot at the root so the underlying jawbone will start to reabsorb over time. Gradually, you will suffer from bone loss in the area of the missing tooth.
About Dental Implants
Dental Implants, on the other hand, offer a stable and long term solution to tooth loss. The implant fixtures will integrate with the jawbone providing a strong base to support the dental bridge. This will allow the bridge to function like natural teeth. They will also provide stimulation for the jawbone which will prevent bone resorption. An implant supported dental bridge does not rely on adjacent teeth for support. They are a standalone solution for tooth loss that does not require damaging healthy remaining teeth.
Dental implants will require a significant investment since they are initially more expensive. They treatment time is also much longer, taking up to a year to complete for some patients. The dental implant process requires a surgical procedure. Patients must be healthy enough to undergo the procedure and recover from it. To learn more about benefits of dental implants, see The Benefits of Dental Implants.
About our Dental Bridge Procedure
Dr. Furgurson will design a treatment plan that is specific to your needs and goals. Our process begins with a comprehensive evaluation to examine the health of the teeth, gums, jaw joints, and other support structures. You may have an existing dental bridge or require a tooth extraction.
A dental bridge can either be removable or fixed. In most cases, Dr. Furgurson and Dr. White will support the choice for a fixed dental bridge as a long-term solution for missing teeth. We can support the dental bridge by either dental crowns and/or dental implants. The dentist will prepare the teeth to ensure a solid foundation for the dental bridge.
Then, the dental laboratory will create the bridge to our specifications. You may get a temporary bridge to wear in the meantime. In approximately 2 to 3 weeks from your initial visit, you will return to our Chapel Hill dental office for the delivery of the final restoration.
Dental Bridges FAQs
To learn more about dental bridges, please read through our frequently asked questions section. If you still have questions or concerns, please contact Chapel Hill Family and Cosmetic Dentistry for further help.
How much does a dental bridge cost?
The cost of a dental bridge will depend on the number and location of the missing teeth as well as the type of bridge and materials chosen. Chapel Hill Family and Cosmetic Dentistry works with nearly all dental insurance providers and will handle all necessary billing and paperwork. Additionally, we offer financing through CareCredit for patients who are concerned about cost.
Do you repair broken bridgework?
Although we build dental bridges to last a long time, problems can still arise. If you have a dental bridge that has chipped, broken, or come loose, you should contact our Chapel Hill dentist office right away. Depending on the extent of damage, we may be able to cement the bridge or replace it altogether.
How do I care for a dental bridge?
A dental bridge should be brushed and flossed just like natural teeth. We will show you a special technique to floss under and around artificial tooth or teeth. It is also important to visit our Chapel Hill dentist office at least twice a year for routine examinations.
How long does it take for a dental bridge to feel normal?
It may take as long as a month for patients to fully adjust to their new bridge. During this period we recommend that you avoid foods that are too hot or too cold.
What to expect after getting a dental bridge?
After getting a bridge, it’s best to eat and drink things at room temperature. Avoid eating foods that are particularly hard or crunchy as they may cause pain while wearing your bridge. We recommend sticking to a soft diet to reduce the applied pressure to your bridge. Once you feel comfortable you may resume your regular eating and drinking habits.
Can food get under a dental bridge?
Food can get caught under or around a bridge because there is a gap under the prosthetic tooth. We recommend regular dental exams to ensure that your dental bridge is in place and your surrounding teeth are healthy.
Schedule a Restorative Consultation
Chapel Hill Cosmetic and Family Dentistry is your all-inclusive dentistry in Durham, Chapel Hill, and surrounding counties. We specialize in providing long-term solutions for missing and lost teeth. Call your restorative dentist, Dr. Furgurson, at 919.736.6175 or request a consultation online today.