Understanding the Role Dental Bridges Play

Dental Bridges in Fort CollinsDental bridges (also referred to as partial dentures) are an effective and popular treatment option for correcting tooth loss.  Dental bridges restore your ability to speak and eat properly while maintaining your natural teeth alignment and facial support.  At Family and Cosmetic Dentistry of the Rockies, we know that your smile affects more than how you look and feel about yourself.  It can also affect how you eat, how you talk, and your short-term and long-term oral health. Dental bridges can relieve you of these current challenges.


What are Dental Bridges Used For?

Your dentist may recommend dental bridges if you are looking for a solution for missing teeth and restoring your appearance. Dental bridges are a great tool for improving your smile and oral health because they solve multiple problems and last 15 years (or more) with proper oral hygiene and maintenance. Dental bridges are used to:


  • Renew your ability to eat and speak regularly again
  • Distribute the bite pressure evenly among the rest of your teeth
  • Help keep the rest of your teeth from moving out of place
  • Prevent teeth from cracking or chipping
  • Protect your gums


Are Dental Bridges Covered by Insurance?

Dental bridges are considered a restorative dental procedure and are covered by most dental insurance plans.  They provide obvious cosmetic benefits, yes, but they correct functional issues and are a necessary addition to a healthy mouth when certain issues are present.


What Options Do I Have for Dental Bridges?

There are two main kinds of dental bridges that we offer our Family and Cosmetic Dentistry of the Rockies patients: 1) fixed (permanently attached) bridges; and 2) removable bridges.  Both options have pros and cons but are recommended on a case by case basis. While fixed bridges

Family & Cosmetic Dentistry of the Rockies offers fixed (permanently attached) and removable bridges, which are recommended according to your individual condition.  The non-removable nature of fixed bridges provide you comparable stability and strength as natural teeth.  Fixed bridges are often recommended for patients who still have the majority of their jaw structure and density.  Removable bridges are often used if a patient has lost a large portion of his/her lip, cheek or jaw support. Removable bridges offer internal support for the mouth and face. They are also generally less costly than fixed bridges, and are easier to maintain and clean.


What to Expect with Dental Bridges Treatment

Before you receive your dental bridges you will have a thorough exam and consultation with a either Dr. Willey or Dr. Murri. At this appointment, they will review with you exactly what to expect with the treatment procedure, aftercare, and follow-up. Dental bridge treatments require two office visits.



The first visit is used to prepare the teeth that will anchor your bridge. Teeth are prepared by thinly shaving the enamel so the tooth will be ready for crown placement. Your dental bridge is completely customized to fit your mouth and includes a prosthetic tooth and crown.  The customization is achieved through teeth/gum impressions  fabricated in our office and then sent to our dental lab for manufacturing.  The turn-around time for our dental lab is between 1-2 weeks. While you await your dental bridge and accompanying parts from the lab, you will wear a temporary bridge to protect your exposed teeth and gums.



Once we have received your customized bridge, prosthetic tooth and crown from our lab you will be called in for your second appointment.  During this appointment, your temporary bridge is removed and Dr. Murri or Dr. Willey will make sure the bridge fits properly and looks the way you want it to.  Depending on the type of bridge you have, needed adjustments can be made in our office during this appointment.  If adjustments are needed that can’t be achieved in our office, but must involve our lab, a follow-up visit will be arranged to make sure your dental bridge is working properly for your fit and bite.  We want to make sure that you are happy with the results of your dental bridge and that it will be an effective tool for you so we are very thorough. If you are going to have this for at least 15 years we want to make sure we have it exactly right for you!



One of the great things about dental bridges is that once they are positioned in your mouth no special care is required.  All you have to do is continue to practice good oral hygiene practices and avoid chewing on things that could harm your teeth.  Chewing on hard foods/items or grinding your teeth can impact how long your bridge will last for you.


Am I a Candidate for Dental Bridges?

With all the positive benefits of dental bridges, you may be wondering right now if you are a candidate for them.  If you think you may benefit from a dental bridge, give our office a call to schedule an appointment for a consultation with Dr. Murri or Dr. Willey in our Fort Collins office. For dental bridges to be placed properly, patients need to have two strong, healthy teeth on each side of the area where teeth are missing. If the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth area are not healthy, or if it looks like they may need a root canal dental bridges are not typically recommended. However, some patients may qualify to have a dental implant placed near the area to be bridged to help provide an anchor for the dental bridge.


Call for a Dental Bridges Consultation

If you would like to learn more about dental bridges and your treatment options, or if you would like an appointment, call our Fort Collins dental office today at (970) 223-6101. For your convenience, you can also reach us after normal business hours by submitting a contact request or appointment reservation online using the form below.