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One Reason Your Dentist May Not Do a Dental Bridge

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A Football Hero Needed New Teeth

I provide care for a retired Bears quarterback, who shall remain nameless.  I suspect that I weigh one-third as much as his muscular frame! “Mike” lost his front teeth during the course of his training and career. He’d had two expansive bridges (multiple ceramic teeth on a metal base, which is cemented in place) placed on his front teeth, early in his career. Dental bridges last a long time, but not forever. When it came time to replace one of these bridges, Mike wanted a “movie star smile”. This is a common request of patients.

Here’s why I couldn’t do it. There is a range of over 40 shades of tooth color that any dental lab can reproduce, and they can also shape each tooth to be wider and more prominent. There are also degrees of translucency. These three factors contribute to a natural-looking replacement. To make it simple, think of tooth color as complimenting one’s skin color as well as other teeth nearby in the mouth. It is a balancing act for any dentist to select the tooth color for a bridge that “matches” aging, and surrounding teeth, in different kinds of light. I consider this the use of one’s “artistic” eye, and I embrace the challenge.

In addition, I need the services of a dental lab to recreate the replacement teeth exactly as I have indicated. Not all labs have such attention to detail.

Going back to Mike’s case, he left me in charge of all of these decisions, so my staff jokingly suggested that Mike could “beat me up” if he wasn’t satisfied. Well, Mike was more than satisfied…and so was I. It’s all in the attention to details, practice, and teamwork – kind of like a touchdown.