Missing teeth can be a problem regardless of your age. Even if you cannot see the missing teeth in the back of your mouth, they are a long term oral health issue. Sadly, many people feel that having a tooth removed or losing one in an accident is only a problem if other people can see the missing tooth where it’s located. While your confidence level does hinge on how good your smile looks, you might not realize that the shape of your teeth and the positioning of your teeth can be affected by a missing tooth. Even if the missing tooth is not visible to those around you, it might have a negative lasting impression on the rest of your mouth. This negative impact might include breaking down or damaging the teeth surrounding the missing tooth, or it might even cause your current teeth to shift their position in your mouth and become crooked, uneven, or even create unwanted space between your teeth. If you want to avoid these problems, you may need a bridge.
What is A Bridge?
A dental bridge is exactly what it sounds like. It is a bridge designed to connect two teeth separated by a gap in your mouth due to missing teeth. It consists of at least two crowns, though sometimes more are necessary if you have more than one missing tooth in your mouth, that fit teeth together to eliminate the gap. The crowns on the outside of the bridge are anchor teeth that connect to your actual teeth. The tooth or teeth in the middle of your anchor teeth are false teeth designed to replace your missing teeth.
What Are the Benefits of Bridges?
- Bridges are important for many reasons.
- They improve your smile
- They make it possible for you to properly chew your food
- They make it possible for you to speak correctly
- They make it possible for you to maintain the shape of your face
- They make it possible for you to bite properly
- They prevent your current teeth from shifting and changing position in your face
There are several different types of bridges, including Maryland bonded bridges, traditional bridges, and cantilever bridges. Your dentist will discuss which one is best for you based on his or her personal preference and/or experience, and what will work best in your mouth for your current situation.
What is the Bridge Process Like?
Your dentist will start by removing some of the enamel on your ‘anchor’ teeth to make room for crowns. Then, your dentist is going to make an impression of your mouth so custom crowns can be made to create your bridge. While these are being made, you will be given temporary crowns to use over your anchor teeth to protect them. This all happens during your first appointment. The second appointment is when your custom-made bridge is placed into your mouth. It must be checked, adjusted, and it must be fitted properly to ensure it will last in your mouth.
Your dentist will cement it into place once it’s fitted properly, and then he or she will discuss the proper care technique and recovery time with you. If you care for your bridge properly, you can use it for up to 15 years before you need a new one. Unfortunately, you may find you need a new one after only five years if you do not properly care for your teeth in the meantime.
If you suspect you are in need of a bridge to fix a situation in which you have missing teeth or even one tooth, contact Wilson Dental today to schedule an appointment. One of our dental professionals will discuss options and schedule a follow-up appointment to get the process started. You can prevent more serious, more expensive dental issues from occurring if you get started on this process right away.