You can lose a tooth for a variety of reasons. A tooth may be knocked out as a result of facial trauma. Gum disease can loosen the supporting structures around a tooth, causing it to fall out. In some cases, a severely damaged tooth may need to be extracted. No matter what the cause, losing even just one tooth can have several significant impacts on your life. It is essential that you replace missing teeth as soon as possible. At Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry, we can replace missing teeth with dental bridges.
Effects of Tooth Loss
When you lose a tooth, several things begin to happen.
- Depending upon the location of the tooth, your smile can be affected. With a gap between your teeth, you may become self-conscious and try to hide your smile from those around you.
- It becomes more difficult for you to bite and chew your food. If you cannot thoroughly chew your food, your digestion and your nutrition can be impacted.
- You are at a higher risk for issues such as gum disease and tooth damage.
- You may develop a lisp.
- Your teeth can begin to shift out of their natural alignment, which can then cause issues such as bruxism and TMJ disorder.
What Is a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge is a restoration that is used to replace a missing tooth. It can be used to replace up to three consecutive missing teeth anywhere in your mouth. There are several different types of bridges, including a Maryland bridge, a cantilever bridge, and a fixed bridge. Fixed bridges are the most commonly used. This particular bridge, often made from a single piece of ceramic, has a replacement tooth with two crowns, one on each side of the replacement tooth. The crowns are there to anchor the bridge into place. They attach to the teeth adjacent to the empty space, holding the restoration securely in place.
Why Get a Dental Bridge?
There are numerous benefits to getting a dental bridge.
- Your ability to easily bite and chew a variety of foods is restored.
- Improved digestion and nutrition.
- You can speak normally again.
- You regain your beautiful smile.
- Your confidence is boosted.
- A bridge helps to hold your healthy teeth in proper alignment.
- A bridge can fill out your facial features, helping to restore a more youthful appearance.
Dental Bridge Placement
It typically takes two separate appointments to place your dental bridge. At your first appointment, we prepare the abutment teeth. This process involves trimming the teeth or removing a portion of the enamel from each one. Removing this enamel is essential for ensuring that your bridge will fit in perfectly with the rest of your teeth, creating a more natural, comfortable fit. After your teeth have been prepared, we then take impressions of your mouth, which are sent to our dental lab.
It generally takes about two weeks for a bridge to be created and then sent back. A temporary bridge will be placed in your mouth in the meantime. Once your final bridge is complete, you then return for your second appointment. At this appointment, we check the bridge for proper fit and bite and secure it into place.
When you lose a tooth, it is essential that you have it replaced as soon as possible. Call Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry at Tulsa: (539) 302-3266 Claremore: (918) 343-4300 to schedule your consultation and find out if a dental bridge is right for you.