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More Information on Dental Bridges
Everyone wants a full, complete smile. When a tooth or teeth are missing, though, it can be easy to be self-conscious. Luckily, there are different options for treating the gap caused by a missing tooth or teeth. One popular form of treatment is a dental bridge.
What Is a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge is a fixed dental appliance that is often held in place by two abutments cemented onto healthy teeth on either side of the gap where a tooth or teeth are missing. Bridging the gap is a pontic (a false tooth or set of teeth).
The Reasons for a Bridge
Whether a patient has an implant or a bridge placed, it is extremely important to make sure that the gap where one or more teeth are missing is filled. By foregoing treatment, the patient will likely experience a variety of oral health issues, including:
- Teeth Migration
- Jaw Bone Loss
- Tooth Decay
- Gum Disease
A missing tooth or teeth will often affect the surrounding teeth, and the gums. Once the teeth begin to migrate, it can be difficult to brush, floss and rinse properly—encouraging the buildup of bacteria. Without a tooth or a replacement tooth, the bone of the jaw may also begin to deteriorate. Because of all of this and more, it is important to have a hole filled that extends between one or more missing teeth.
The Types of Bridges
While most people get traditional bridges, there are actually a few different types of dental bridges that your dentist may choose from. These include:
Traditional bridges involve the reshaping of two healthy teeth, that are then capped with abutments. These abutments hold a pontic in place—completing the smile.
Cantilever bridges are very similar to traditional bridges, except for the fact that they are held in place with only one abutment instead of two.
Maryland bridges allow the patient to keep as much of their natural tooth as possible. These bridges are attached to the teeth using a porcelain or metal frame. The bridge sits behind the teeth, making it difficult to notice.
Am I a Candidate for a Bridge?
There are a few different options for teeth replacements, including implants, bridges and dentures. Your dentist will do whatever they can to maintain your healthy teeth, so the first option for tooth replacement that they may look to place is a dental implant. If the jawbone of the patient is unable to handle the placement of an implant, though, they will often opt for a dental bridge.
It is extremely important to visit your dentist when a tooth or teeth go missing to have a replacement placed as soon as possible. The sooner you visit your dentist, the lower the chance will be of needing additional procedures to repair the damage done by leaving a missing tooth or teeth untreated.
A dental bridge can help to bridge the gap between one or more teeth—completing the smile and improving overall oral health.
Dr. Lois Lee is highly skilled and experienced with cosmetic and restorative dental bridges. Contact their team today to find out more information on how to get started!
If you're looking for more information on dental bridges, here's some additional information on the dental bridge procedure.