It is estimated that there are 120 million people in the United States who are missing at least one tooth. While tooth loss of any kind is devastating, the good thing is that your missing teeth can be replaced. One way Advanced Dental Associates can replace your missing teeth is with a bridge.
The Importance of Replacing a Missing Tooth
Following tooth loss, it is important to have them replaced as soon as possible. It would help if you had your teeth to eat properly and speak effectively. They are important for keeping your bite in proper alignment. They are also important for the shape of your face and your overall appearance. The sooner you replace missing teeth, the fewer effects of tooth loss you suffer.
How a Bridge Works
With a dental bridge, we can replace up to three missing teeth. This restoration essentially bridges the empty space between your healthy teeth, filling it in with false teeth. These false teeth take the place of your missing teeth. With your bridge in place, the functions of your missing teeth are restored, as is your appearance.
Traditional Fixed Bridges
A traditional fixed bridge is one of the most common types of bridges. This bridge uses the teeth on each side of the gap as anchors. Crowns are what anchor the false teeth into place. A traditional fixed bridge is used when you have healthy teeth on both sides of the missing teeth. To get a traditional fixed bridge, the surrounding teeth need to be prepared just like the process for placing dental crowns.
A cantilever bridge is similar to a traditional fixed bridge. Instead of using two crowns, however, this treatment uses crowns only on one side of the false teeth. It is used when there are no natural teeth on one side of the empty space. For example, you may have a crown already on one adjacent tooth. The tooth used to support the bridge is prepared just like it is for a crown or a fixed bridge. The biggest issue with this type of bridge is that it can cause issues such as tooth fractures or loosened crowns.
Maryland, or Resin Bonded, Bridges
A Maryland bridge is also sometimes called a resin-bonded bridge. It is a bit different from a fixed bridge. Instead of using crowns to anchor the bridge, it uses a metal framework. The framework attaches to the backsides of the adjacent teeth with dental cement. This prevents the need to have the anchoring teeth prepared. However, under too much force, the bonding agent can come loose, causing your bridge to fall out of place.
A Newer Alternative to Traditional Treatment
In addition to the traditional bridges, there are now dental implants. With this treatment, false teeth are anchored in place by small posts implanted into your jawbone. Not only do you avoid the need for having the adjacent teeth prepared, but your teeth are securely held in place. Additionally, dental implants provide a permanent solution.
If you have suffered tooth loss, replacement is needed quickly. Call Advanced Dental Associates at (210) 714-5589 to schedule your appointment and discuss your options today.