Dental Bridges for La Jolla, Del Mar, & Pacific Beach

Who Can Benefit from Dental Bridges?

Dental Bridges for La Jolla, Del Mar, & Pacific Beach

Crowns can fix a variety of problems with an existing tooth, but one or more missing teeth will require more comprehensive restoration. La Jolla patients in need of a cosmetic dentistry solution to missing teeth might benefit from a dental bridge.

Please contact La Jolla Family Smile Design today to discuss dental bridges and other restoration options for your teeth. Our dental team provides a broad range of dentistry services to patients living in La Jolla and nearby San Diego communities.

Dental Crowns vs. Dental Bridges

Designs for most dental bridges incorporate two or more dental crowns. Between the crowns is a false tooth, called a pontic, used to fill the gap in your smile left by a missing tooth.

Our La Jolla dentists are proud to invest time and effort into creating a custom restoration just for you. In many cases, we can make your dental bridge entirely from the same ceramic materials we use for tooth crowns.

Benefits of bridges made from dental ceramic include:

  • Durability – with proper care, dental bridges can last more than 10 years
  • Restoration will remain stable when exposed to hot and cold temperatures
  • Color of the crowns and pontic are matched to your natural teeth

For minor cases of tooth replacement, such as three units or less, we can create a dental bridge for you made entirely from ceramic. Larger restorations, however, will require a metal substructure to provide stability.

Dental Bridges vs. Dental Implants

The growing popularity of dental implants has reduced the frequency of dental bridge procedures. However, if a bridge seems like the most appropriate option for your tooth replacement, our dentists bring years of experience preparing high-quality restorations with premier materials.

Traditional Restorative Bridges for La Jolla, Del Mar, & Pacific Beach

A bridge might be preferable to an implant if:

  • You’re unable to undergo oral surgery
  • You don’t want to wait to fill the gap in your smile
  • You don’t have enough bone mass in your jaw to support a dental implant

Before you undergo any type of procedure, we will assess your overall and oral health, as well as your cosmetic goals. We will provide you with honest input on the procedure that could benefit your smile while keeping your teeth and mouth healthy.

Benefits of Dental Bridges

Bridges in La Jolla
  • Aesthetics:  A dental bridge can make cosmetic improvements to a smile by replacing holes with realistic-looking teeth that match the natural teeth in the mouth. The people you interact with generally cannot tell that a patient has had this restorative procedure.
  • Eating: Bridges help improve the functionality of the mouth. Patients have an easier time after having a complete set of teeth. Additionally, it helps to preserve the natural motion of the bite, since people sometimes try to modify how they chew to compensate for missing teeth, which leads to discomfort. 
  • Speaking: Missing teeth are also associated with speech impediments. Once a person has a bridge in their mouth (and a slight amount of practice time), enunciating words should become easier again.
  • Maintaining Alignment: The longer that space is left between teeth, the more likely it is for nearby teeth to start to shift out of place. This jeopardizes the overall alignment of the mouth. This can also have a negative affect on facial structure and attractiveness.

Types of Dental Bridges

Fixed Bridge

Regarded as the standard in dental bridges, a fixed bridge places crowns on natural teeth to both sides of the gap being filled with prosthetics. These crowns are essential for holding the artificial replacement teeth in position.

Cantilever Bridge

A cantilever bridge is like a fixed bridge, but it uses only one crown to hold the prosthetic tooth (or teeth) in place. This may be preferable to a fixed bridge in cases where a patient has no natural teeth on the other side of the tooth or would prefer to minimize the number of crowns in their mouth so that their smile maintains as much natural beauty as possible.

Maryland-Bonded Bridge

This bridge does not require crowns altogether. Instead, it uses metal “wings” on the backside of the nearby natural teeth to hold the prosthetic teeth in place. This is a great approach for missing front teeth since crowns at the front of the smile are easier to detect.

Implant-Supported Bridge

If a patient prefers dental implants to crowns but would like to avoid the cost of replacing multiple missing teeth with implants, an implant-supported bridge can be appropriate. A single implant can hold a few prosthetic teeth in a row securely in the mouth.

Dental Bridge FAQs

What is a dental bridge?

A dental bridge is a small appliance that fits into the space left by one or more missing natural teeth. A bridge is helpful for:

  • Restoring a normal appearance to the teeth and smile
  • Restoring normal chewing/speaking function
  • Preventing the surrounding natural teeth from drifting into the gap and affecting the bite

What is a dental bridge made of?

A traditional dental bridge is made of an artificial tooth (called a “pontic”) supported on either side by a dental crown. The artificial tooth fits into the gap left by the missing tooth, and the crowns are slipped over the teeth adjacent to the gap.

Should I get a dental bridge or a dental implant?

Both options have their pros and cons. Dental bridges don’t require oral surgery and can be placed more quickly than a dental implant. One of our dentists can examine your teeth during an in-person consultation and recommend the best option for your specific needs.

How long will a dental bridge last?

With the right oral hygiene care and regular dental visits, a dental bridge can last for many years.

How much do dental bridges cost?

The cost of dental bridges varies, depending on the type of bridge, materials used and other factors. Our team can provide a detailed cost estimate during your in-person appointment. Some dental insurance plans offer partial or full coverage of bridgework; you will have to check with your specific insurer to verify whether they provide coverage.

How many appointments are necessary for a dental bridge?

Bridges in La Jolla

Ultimately, that depends on the type of dental bridge your dentist uses. In most cases, bridges are complete in two appointments. During the first visit, your dentist takes a detailed mold of your mouth so that a laboratory can custom-create a bridge that fits your mouth without disrupting your bite. Once that is ready, you can return to have it secured to your adjacent teeth.

How do I take care of a dental bridge?

Dental bridges are permanent fixtures in your mouth. You should treat them just like your normal teeth, which includes daily brushing and flossing to keep them clean and free of bacteria.

To schedule a consultation to discuss dental bridges and other restorations, please contact La Jolla Family Smile Design. Our dentists and staff look forward to meeting you at our office in La Jolla.