Dr. Timothy J. Hacker provides highly realistic restorations to replace missing teeth and restore dental function. If you are missing between one and three teeth, you will likely benefit from our advanced dental bridges. At our Memphis, TN, practice, we provide both traditional and implant-supported restorations. The right type for you will depend on your oral health, budget, and goals for treatment. Dr. Hacker has significant experience with both kinds of bridges, and he also also works with a top-quality lab for their fabrication. There, the technicians will use detail-oriented techniques and advanced zirconia to provide highly lifelike results.

Are You a Candidate for a Dental Bridge?

Although you are likely a candidate for a dental bridge if you are missing one to three teeth in a row, a partial denture is probably more appropriate if you have more widespread tooth loss. Dr. Hacker will evaluate your oral health, as well as your budget, to determine the most suitable type of bridge. A traditional bridge will be secured by crowns placed over the nearby natural teeth. Therefore, those teeth must be strong enough to support the restoration.

For an implant-supported bridge, it is vital that you have a sufficient amount of jawbone tissue. If you have suffered jaw recession, the implant posts may not have enough support for lasting results. Dr. Hacker will use x-rays and computed tomography (CT) scans to determine your candidacy for implants. In some cases, he may recommend a bone graft to improve your eligibility.

Placing Your Restoration

If you select a traditional bridge, Dr. Hacker will first reshape the teeth that will support the restoration. He will numb your teeth and use conservative reshaping methods, so the process should involve negligible discomfort. This step will provide a foundation and make more room for the bridge so that it can rest securely against your teeth. Then Dr. Hacker will take impressions, and our lab will use these molds to design your restoration. The technicians will use state-of-the-art zirconia to craft a bridge that is a near-perfect match to your smile. When it is complete, Dr. Hacker will use dental cement to attach the restoration to your teeth.

Our lab technicians will use detail-oriented techniques and advanced zirconia to provide highly lifelike results.

When you choose an implant-supported bridge, Dr. Hacker will perform a minor oral surgery. Using x-rays and scans of your jaw, he will choose precise positions for your dental implants. Then he will insert the posts in your jaw through tiny incisions in your gums. Prior to your surgery, he will numb your soft tissue and jawbone, and he can also provide deeper sedation so you should experience very little discomfort during your treatment. In most cases, Dr. Hacker will use two implant posts to uphold a dental bridge. After your surgery, you will need to wait four to six months for your jaw to heal. During the healing process, we will provide a temporary restoration. Dr. Hacker will attach the permanent bridge as soon as your implants have properly fused with your jawbone.

The Benefits of a Dental Bridge

Dental bridges have numerous aesthetic and practical benefits. Perhaps most obviously, the restoration will complete your smile to improve your overall appearance. It can also fill out your lips and cheeks, giving you an overall younger look. Additionally, your bridge will renew your oral function. Once it is in place, you should be able to eat a wide range of foods with very few dietary restrictions, if any.

Your bridge will also enhance your long-term oral health. Both traditional and implant-supported bridges will keep your other teeth from shifting out of alignment, which can reduce your risk for severe orthodontic issues, as well as temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder and bruxism. Plus, when you receive an implant-supported bridge, the implant posts can stop jaw recession and prevent further tooth loss.