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Dental Bridge – Springfield, MO

Bridge the Gap for an Attractive and Functional Smile

Dentist talking to patient

Have you ever thought about how much work your teeth do for you every single day? They bite, chew, grind, gnash, clench, chatter and smile. With that kind of activity, it’s no wonder that so many people suffer tooth loss. How many people? The American College of Prosthodontists estimate that some 178 million people in the United States have at least one missing tooth. If you are one of those millions, then perhaps you should consider having a dental bridge in Springfield. Dr. Olson can design an attractive bridge that will also be comfortable and functional.

Why Is It Important to Replace Missing Teeth?


If you’ve been dealing with missing teeth for a while, then you know the consequences. The most obvious, of course, is your appearance when you smile, eat or laugh; just knowing that other people are seeing your missing teeth can make some people so uncomfortable they begin to avoid social engagements and business meetings.

In addition, missing teeth can be the beginning of other problems, too, such as periodontal disease, tooth decay and shifting teeth. Furthermore, tooth loss is one of the leading causes of malnutrition. If you aren’t able to chew certain foods—fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, nuts, grains—then your diet suffers. All in all, the need to replace missing teeth is important to your self-confidence, your oral health and your general health.

What Is a Dental Bridge?

Female patient admiring her smile

A bridge is designed to fill the space left behind if you are missing one or a few teeth. You and Dr. Olson will decide what kind of bridge will be best for you. There are fixed bridges that are permanently attached to adjacent abutment teeth and removable bridges, which are also called partials. 

A removable bridge is made of false teeth that are cemented to a metal frame. The frame has clasps or brackets that attach to healthy teeth in order to hold the bridge in place. False teeth are designed according to the details of an impression made of your mouth. In this way, the teeth look natural and fit comfortably between your other teeth and when you bite.

A fixed or permanent bridge is one unit made up of two dental crowns with false teeth in between. The crowns are placed over healthy teeth on either side of the gap in your smile in order to hold the false teeth in place. The crowns can also be attached to dental implants when necessary.

How Is A Bridge Placed?

Your dentist will take precise measurements of your mouth as well as impressions in order to design a bridge that fits comfortably between your other teeth. Together you will choose a color for the false teeth that blends seamlessly with your natural teeth. Once in place, your new bridge will complete your smile and restore normal function, so you can chew and speak with ease.

Dental Bridge FAQs

Man discussing need for dental bridge in Springfield

When learning that you need a dental bridge in Springfield, you’re likely to have many questions for your dentist. From the placement process to life after treatment, knowing what to expect can make the process easier and more seamless. At the office of Olson Family Dental, we are here to deliver honest and transparent information that is designed to help you feel more confident in your decision to pursue restorative care. Below is a list of questions commonly asked by our patients, complete with answers provided by Dr. Olson.

How long should a dental bridge last?

The lifespan of your dental bridge is determined by how well you take care of it. Typically, these restorations last between 5-15 years. Apart from your ability to properly maintain your new teeth, the type of material used to create your bridge can also be a factor when determining how long it will last. At Olson Family Dental, we rely on porcelain because of its durability and natural, lifelike appearance.

The location of your dental bridge within your mouth can also shorten or lengthen its lifespan. Those placed toward the back of the mouth tend to require replacement much earlier than those placed toward the front. The reason is because of the additional wear and tear placed on the posterior area of the mouth when chewing and eating.

How many teeth can a dental bridge replace?

A healthy dental bridge that can last up to 15 years should replace no more than three or four teeth. The longer the bridge, the more vulnerable it becomes to breakage and instability. It is typical for a dentist to turn to a partial denture for two reasons: the missing teeth are not consecutive, or you are missing more than four teeth.

During your initial consultation, Dr. Olson will determine the type of restoration you need to restore your smile.

Do dental bridges look natural?

Yes, dental bridges can look completely natural as long as you opt for materials that mimic the natural shade of your tooth enamel and are placed by trusted professionals. Dr. Olson and our team at Olson Family Dental are trained to provide restorative services that produce high-quality, beautiful results. By using porcelain materials, we can more closely match your bridge so that it blends in seamlessly with the rest of your smile.

How do I clean under my bridge?

Maintaining good oral hygiene is essential while wearing a dental bridge. If bacteria and plaque are allowed to accumulate underneath, you run the risk of causing additional damage to your nearby healthy teeth as well as your gum tissues.

To ensure that you are properly cleaning your bridge area, make sure that you:

  • Use dental floss to reach the underneath area of the bridge. This will help to remove any bacteria that may reside.
  • Opt for an interdental or interproximal brush, as these can thoroughly clean out food debris that may be trapped underneath your bridge.
  • Use a water irrigator (i.e. WaterPik) to help you push out any remaining food debris that may adhere to and cause issues with your oral health.