Is a Dental Bridge My Best Tooth Replacement Option?
While there are many preventative dental measures available today, some people still find themselves missing teeth. When this happens, they need a tooth replacement to restore the appearance and function of their teeth, along with ensuring long-term oral health. A dental bridge is one restorative service that can provide great results.
What causes missing teeth?
Missing teeth can be due to a wide range of different causes, and tooth decay is among the most common. While decay can be treated with fillings or a root canal if identified early enough, in some cases it can lead to an extraction.
Physical accidents are another common cause. Impacts from sports, falls, car accidents, or other causes can knock teeth out or leave them severely damaged. While dentists can often restore these teeth, sometimes it simply isn’t possible.
Many conditions can affect your teeth, some of them genetic. Tooth root resorption is one example. This is a condition where your adult teeth loosen and fall out just like your baby teeth did.
Visiting your dentist to identify the cause of any looseness, pain, sensitivity, or other dental issues is the best way to prevent missing teeth.
What can happen when you have a missing tooth?
A missing tooth can have a variety of impacts on your life. Of course, it will likely affect the look of your smile, and this change in appearance can reduce your self-confidence. However, there are also direct oral health risks as well.
Without a tooth in place, the bone that surrounds that tooth can begin to undergo resorption. This can cause your jaw and teeth to shift, creating alignment issues that affect your eating and speaking ability. A missing tooth is a serious oral health problem, even if you aren’t concerned about your appearance.
What is a dental bridge?
There are a variety of treatment options available for missing teeth. Getting a crown and bridge are among the most common. A dental crown is a porcelain, ceramic, or resin cover placed over a damaged tooth. However, if your tooth is missing entirely, then a crown cannot be used to replace it.
The solution is a dental bridge. When you’re missing one tooth or several teeth in a row, a dental bridge can be used to fill that gap. The two teeth on either end of the gap are prepared to provide a solid foundation for the bridge.
The bridge is like a solid row of several teeth, made from the same materials as a dental crown. It is attached to the two teeth on either side of the gap in the same way as dental crowns, with a special dental cement holding them permanently in place. The gap is filled, and your teeth and jaw won’t shift over time.
Why are dental bridges such a great tooth replacement option?
Dental bridges are carefully designed for each individual patient to provide a great match for their existing teeth. You’ll have an attractive smile and restore your ability to eat and speak while preventing long-term oral health risks.
A crown and bridge for your missing teeth are also less expensive than many other options and are typically covered by insurance. The very simple procedure doesn’t require any surgery or grafting.
Bridges are also reliable, generally lasting between five and seven years or longer with proper care. If a bridge becomes worn or broken, it can be replaced the same way the first bridge was applied.
Who is a good candidate for a dental bridge?
Dental bridges are a good option for people who are missing one or several teeth in a row. A dental bridge isn’t suitable for people who are missing all of their teeth, as the bridge relies on surrounding teeth to serve as a base.
A bridge may be unnecessary if a tooth is damaged but not missing. If most of the tooth can be saved through a root canal or other treatment options, then a single crown can be used to restore the tooth.
Other Tooth Replacement Options
Bridges aren’t the only option for replacing one or several missing teeth. There are also partial dentures and space maintainers. These are removable oral appliances that serve to fill the gap between remaining teeth. However, they generally aren’t as effective as a dental bridge.
Dental implants are another option, where a titanium post is surgically implanted to provide support for a crown or bridge.
Find out if a dental bridge is right for you.
If you are missing teeth or will require an extraction soon, reach out to Sheppard Family Dental Care, your dentist in Lawton, Oklahoma. We provide dental bridges and other restorative treatment options. You can schedule an appointment today to get started.