Dental Bridges in Bethesda & Chevy Chase, MD

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Bridging Gaps in Your Smile with Fixed Dental Bridges

Dental Bridges

Are gaps between your teeth causing confidence and oral health issues? Smiles of Chevy Chase, led by Dr. Despina Markogiannakis, can rebuild smiles and restore your ability to chew properly with sturdy, natural-looking dental bridges. To schedule a free consultation, contact us today at 301-652-0656 or keep reading the helpful guide below to learn more!

What Are Dental Bridges?

Dental bridges, also called tooth replacement bridges and fixed dental bridges, are fixed restorations anchoring artificial teeth securely between natural tooth supports or by dental implants, “bridging” spaces where one or more teeth are missing. Unlike removable dentures, bridges stay solidly in place to make the false teeth look and perform similarly to natural teeth, for reliability you can count on 24/7.

Bridges from Smiles of Chevy Chase integrate personal fit, bite alignment, and shade/contour considerations to seamlessly blend with surrounding smile aesthetics and muscle motions. With proper at-home care, bridges often deliver a decade or more of superb service.

Types of Dental Bridges

Several types of fixed dental bridges with varying benefits exist depending on site requirements and patient needs, including:

Traditional Fixed Bridges

Traditional fixed bridges involve reduced preparation of adjacent teeth acting as bridge anchors or abutments. Adhering prosthetic material allows the visible artificial teeth, known as pontics, to fill the gap. Traditional bridges provide quick, affordable treatment, especially for front-facing spaces to improve appearance.

Crowns support more robust bridges for high-impact molar sites. By completely encasing anchor teeth in protective crowning material and constructing prosthetic teeth for seamless cohesion, the longevity of dental bridges extends beyond 10 to 15 years.

Cantilever Bridges

Dental Bridges

Cantilever bridges suspend artificial teeth on just one side when suitable abutments only exist on one gap side. This eliminates reducing unaffected teeth, yet requires exceptionally precise design for long-term durability from leveraged pressures.

Maryland Bonded Bridge

Maryland bonded bridges consist of a replacement tooth attached to metal or porcelain wings. These wings are bonded to the back of the adjacent teeth using resin cement, making this a conservative option that preserves the structure of the neighboring teeth.

Resin-Bonded Bridge

Resin-bonded bridges are similar to Maryland bonded bridges but typically use a metal framework with resin cement to bond the replacement tooth or teeth to the adjacent teeth. This type of bridge is commonly used for front teeth and offers a minimally invasive option for restoring a missing tooth.

Implant-Supported Bridge

Dental Bridges

An implant-supported bridge is a dental prosthesis that is supported by dental implants rather than natural teeth. Dental implants are surgically placed into the jawbone to serve as artificial tooth roots. The bridge, consisting of one or more replacement teeth, is then attached to the implants, providing a stable and durable solution for replacing missing teeth.

Implant-supported dental bridges offer several benefits, including improved stability, longevity, and preservation of bone density in the jaw. Additionally, they function and feel more like natural teeth compared to traditional bridges, enhancing both oral function and aesthetics.

Benefits of Dental Bridges

Dental Bridges

For patients suffering from one or more unattractive gaps between teeth due to injury or decay, fixed dental bridges offer huge confidence and oral health boosts by:

  • Filling spaces instantly for smooth, symmetrical smile lines
  • Stabilizing sagging facial features and wrinkling common with missing teeth
  • Protecting remaining original teeth from drifting or over-erupting into open spaces over time
  • Spreading biting and chewing pressures evenly to prevent jaw pain and early tooth damage
  • Allowing enjoyable eating of nearly any food conveniently without removal, slippage, or restrictions
  • Restoring clear pronunciation and eliminating embarrassing speech impediments

Who Qualifies for Dental Bridges?

Good candidates for fixed dental bridges typically have:

  • Healthy neighboring teeth to securely adhere bridges without damaging anchors
  • Healthy surrounding jawbone density to support implants for implant-supported dental bridges
  • Enough space to accommodate prosthetic teeth size for natural spacing between remaining dentition
  • Proper alignment between upper and lower arches to prevent biting interference

The Dental Bridge Process

Dental Bridges


The fixed dental bridge process begins with an oral health examination and consultation to plot out your bridge plan. After assessing overall oral health and conditions, precise digital oral scans map out locations of remaining teeth, gaps needing bridging, available bone, and more dental landmarks. Your Chevy Chase dentist will discuss bridge designs and simulations so you can preview options for determining the best plan.


First, any anchor teeth are prepared by safely reducing the outer enamel to allow secure attachment of the bridge. For front teeth bridges, the anchors may be reshaped slightly to optimize the bridge angle and contact points. Molar anchors get protective crowns for added durability under chewing forces. For implant-supported bridges, no adjacent tooth preparation is required.

Next, precise impressions of your prepared teeth are made. These are used to create accurate models for constructing a custom-fit bridge that feels natural and lasts over a decade. Afterwards, you may get a temporary bridge while your final restoration is being designed and manufactured.


Combining impressions with digital oral scans and intricate notes on shade, position, and size, Smiles of Chevy Chase partners with specialized dental labs to design your new bridge. Technicians select strong, stain-resistant materials matching the surrounding teeth.

Manufacturing & Placement

With your feedback, your final bridges get crafted. Milling, 3D printing, and casting followed by intricate coloring and glazing produce gloriously life-like bridges.

For secure positioning, your Chevy Chase dentist uses test clasps to check the fit before permanently adhering the bridge using strong bonding agents. Adjustments provide comfortable positioning without impeding oral motions.

For implant-supported bridges, your dentist will make small incisions into your gums and place the bridge once osseointegration, the jawbone fusing to the implants, has fully occurred.

Dental Bridge Aftercare

Dental Bridges

Proper care after your bridge is placed prevents decay, buildup, and complications. Key guidelines include:

  • Visit Smiles of Chevy Chase every six months for professional dental cleanings.
  • Avoid chewing excessively hard items like ice that risk microfractures.
  • Limit sugary and acidic foods and drinks: These can contribute to tooth decay and gum disease, which can damage your bridge and the surrounding teeth.
  • Choose healthy snacks. Opt for fruits, vegetables, and nuts instead of sugary treats.
  • Stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water helps flush away food particles and bacteria.
  • Use a water flosser. This can be more effective than traditional floss at cleaning under the bridge and around the anchor teeth.
  • Use a floss threader. This can help you floss under the bridge if you have difficulty using regular floss or a water flosser.
  • Use an interdental brush. This can help clean between the teeth and under the bridge.
  • Rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash. This can help kill bacteria and reduce plaque buildup.
  • Avoid smoking and tobacco use. Smoking increases your risk of gum disease and other oral health problems.
  • Wear a nightguard. If you grind your teeth at night, a nightguard can protect your bridge from damage.
  • Pay attention to any changes. If you notice any changes in your bite, gums, or bridge, such as pain, sensitivity, or a loose feeling, be sure to contact your dentist right away.
  • Gently clean your remaining natural teeth and dental bridge regularly with a soft-bristled toothbrush and non-abrasive fluoride toothpaste.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do bridges stain or discolor over time?

Non-porcelain bridges resist staining for lasting polish. However, porcelain and other translucent materials slowly accumulate pigment molecules from foods, drinks, and medications over the years. Avoiding dark liquids, red wines, tobacco, curries, and other notorious stainer foods helps prolong the bridge’s bright aesthetics.

Is getting a bridge painful?

Thanks to anesthesia blocking nerve sensation during anchor tooth reduction and bridge placement, patients report only minor discomfort during fixed bridge placement. Temporary sensitivity typically diminishes within a week and can be easily managed with over-the-counter pain relievers.

What happens if my dental bridge breaks?

Although fixed dental bridges are generally durable, minor damage or loose bridges can occur. If you notice any chips, cracks, or a loose feeling in the final bridge, contact your dentist immediately. Early intervention can often address the issue with simple repairs or adjustments.

Are dental bridges covered by insurance?

While dental insurance often covers some of the cost of dental bridges, it's rarely complete. Coverage typically falls between 50-80 percent, with annual limits and deductibles potentially leaving you with a significant out-of-pocket expense.

Factors like plan type, tier, and reason for the dental bridge procedure can all affect coverage. To understand your specific situation, contact your insurance provider and dentist for accurate details and cost estimates. You should also ask your restorative dentist if they have in-office financing options.

Say Goodbye to Gaps & Hello to Confidence, Call Now!

If unattractive gaps plague your smile and dental function due to missing teeth, and you live in Chevy Chase or surrounding areas such as Bethesda, Somerset, or Forest Hills, MD, let the artists at Smiles of Chevy Chase beautifully rebuild your confidence from the ground up.

With fixed dental bridges creatively designed for natural aesthetics, dependable durability, and comfortable fit, you can finally enjoy eating, speaking, and laughing freely again. Call 301-652-0656 now to schedule your consultation. A dramatic transformation for your smile is in sight with dental bridges!

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.