Bridging the Gap in Tuckahoe Smiles with Fixed Dental Bridges
Missing a tooth or teeth can make life hard – smiling is embarrassing, eating is difficult and even speaking can be altered because of the gap. Even worse, missing a tooth or teeth can affect your overall health! That’s why, if you are looking for a stable, permanent solution to missing teeth but are not a candidate for an implant, we recommend the benefits of fixed dental bridges.
How Can a Missing Tooth Affect my Health?
Missing a tooth or teeth can affect you in many ways. Because it can make eating difficult and uncomfortable, missing teeth can lead to digestive issues and possibly malnutrition. Missing teeth can also cause the surrounding teeth to shift and move out of balance, leading to the chronic pain of TMJ disorder. A lack of tooth structure to support the bone can even lead to loss of bone and other teeth.
What Exactly is a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge is a porcelain tooth or teeth permanently placed between two of your healthy teeth. The bridge is held in place by porcelain crowns bonded to the teeth on each side of the space to be filled. It actually does create a literal bridge over the gap. And because each tooth is custom made to fit you, it looks as if it has always been right there, enhancing your smile!
There are four main types of dental bridges:
Traditional Dental Bridge
This is the most common type of dental bridge. The existing teeth are crowned with one or more pontics between and held in place by the crowned abutments. The crowns are cemented onto the teeth adjacent to the missing teeth to create a support structure or “bridge” for the missing teeth.
This type of bridge is similar to a traditional bridge, except that the structure is supported on only one side instead of both sides. This can cause the restoration to act as a “lever” and may create additional stress on the supporting tooth, causing it to be more likely to loosen or fracture.
Implant Supported Bridge
Instead of using existing teeth to support a bridge, a dental implant may be substituted to provide support for one or both sides of a dental bridge. This is a popular option that can provide a very secure restoration. This solution is particularly helpful when there are several adjacent missing teeth.
This type of bridge is supported by a metal structure which is cemented onto the back of existing teeth. While not as strong as a traditional bridge, it can preserve the tooth structure of the adjacent teeth by avoiding the use of crowns for the abutments. It may not stay in place when heavy forces are placed on the restoration (such as biting and chewing) and does add pressure to the supporting teeth.
Contact our office to learn more about your restorative options and achieve the smile you have always wanted.