Are You a Good Candidate for a Dental Bridge?

Are You a Good Candidate for a Dental Bridge? By Danny O'Keefe D.D.S. on March 26, 2015

So you’ve lost a tooth or two, and maybe you’re searching for information about what you can do to restore health, function, and aesthetics to your mouth. You know that you cannot simply leave the problem alone - that will only make matters worse. Surely restorative dentistry has improved dramatically since the days of your parents’ removable partial dentures and other ill-fitting, unnatural-looking dental appliances, right?

You bet.

In fact, today’s dental bridges are custom-crafted from the finest, most durable materials to fit comfortably in the mouth and blend seamlessly into any smile. Patients emerge from treatment looking great, feeling confident, and able to eat, speak, and smile, with renewed ease and grace. At the practice of Dr. Danny O’Keefe, we offer both conventional fixed dental bridges and implant-supported dental bridges, both of which offer patients a multitude of oral health and aesthetic benefits.

Are you a good candidate for a custom-crafted dental bridge? At our dental office in Jackson, dental bridge candidates are carefully evaluated to ensure that they will enjoy the full range of benefits from the treatment before they commit to it. The best way to find out whether you are a candidate for treatment is to meet with Dr. O’Keefe for a one-on-one confidential consultation at your earliest convenience.

Criteria for Candidacy

The best candidates for dental bridges will be missing between one and three teeth on either the upper or lower arch of their mouths. A traditional bridge fills the gap by bookending the replacement teeth between two crowns, which are affixed to the natural teeth adjacent to the gap. In order to be a suitable candidate for a traditional fixed dental bridge, a patient must have:

  • Sufficiently healthy and strong natural teeth adjacent to the gap to support dental crowns
  • Sufficiently healthy bone and gum tissues to support the bridgework
  • A commitment to maintaining good oral hygiene and visiting the dentist at least twice a year in order to preserve the results of the dental bridge treatment

While fixed dental bridges will help to prevent the teeth adjacent to a gap from shifting out of their optimal positions, thereby also helping to preserve the patient’s bite, they will not stop the jawbone from degrading, a process that begins when a tooth is lost. Dental implants, however, will halt this process. Dental implants are tiny titanium posts that are surgically embedded into the jaw, where they act as artificial tooth roots. They can be used to secure dental bridges. In order to be a good candidate for an implant-supported dental bridge, a patient must:

  • Be in good enough health to undergo a major surgical procedure
  • Have sufficient jawbone density to support the implant posts (or undergo a bone grafting procedure to build up the jawbone)
  • If he or she smokes, give up smoking while the bone is healing around the implant (and preferably quit for good)

Learn More about Candidacy for Dental Bridges

To learn more about whether you are a good candidate for a dental bridge, please contact the dental practice of Dr. Danny O’Keefe today.