The loss of a single tooth can have a major impact on your dental health and personal appearance. Your teeth support and rely on each other. When one or more teeth are missing, the remaining teeth can shift out of their normal position. Teeth adjacent to the space or from the opposite jaw will often drift or tilt. These teeth are often more susceptible to decay and gum disease because they are more difficult to clean around. All of this shifting and drifting will lead to changes in the bite, which may put stress on the jaws, muscles and teeth. Ultimately, your ability to chew comfortably and your appearance may be affected.
If tooth loss occurs, your dentist may recommend that a bridge be placed. A bridge consists of a replacement tooth/teeth attached to crowns on each side. The bridge is cemented to the teeth adjacent to the space, effectively replacing the missing tooth and preventing any shifting.
The procedures involved in making a bridge are very similar to those for making a crown. Bridges can be made from the same materials as crowns – full porcelain, porcelain fused-to-metal, and all metal. At least two appointments are necessary. At the first visit, your dentist will prepare the teeth next to the missing tooth for crowns. An impression of the prepared teeth will be made and a temporary bridge will be placed. At the subsequent visit, your dentist will fit and adjust the bridge and then cement it in place.
Your new bridge will require some special care when brushing and flossing. Your dental professional will instruct you how to clean around and under the bridge. They may recommend various cleaning aids to help you keep the plaque off and prevent further decay and gum disease.
Comments are closed.