At Contemporary Dentistry and Implantology, we see a lot of people with missing teeth.
There are a number of reasons why people might be missing one or more teeth. Accidents happen, and a tooth can be broken beyond repair or even knocked out. Decay can require that a tooth be pulled.
Living with missing teeth isn’t your best option. There’s a tendency for people to chew on the side where all the teeth are present. This can lead to excessive wear on those teeth. It can also lead to jaw muscle imbalances that can cause pain.
Did you know a tooth will continue to growth unless something – like another tooth – prevents it? When you have a missing tooth, the tooth above or below continues to grow upward or downward. This can cause your smile to look irregular or even cause problems with your bite.
So, there are lots of reasons not to live with missing teeth. Fortunately, there are several ways to replace those teeth to restore your smile and your ability to eat comfortably. At Contemporary Dentistry and Implantology, we can help you find the option that’s best for your needs.
Dental bridges are a very popular option for replacing one or more missing teeth. It’s also a very proven option, because bridges have been in use for decades.
A bridge consists of three or more crowns created as a single unit. Two of the crowns fit over the teeth that border the “gap.” Those teeth are known as abutments. The abutment teeth have to be reduced slightly to allow the hollow crowns to fit and still look natural. Once the bridge is ready, those crowns are bonded into place.
The replacement crown, or artificial tooth, that actually fills the gap is known as the pontic. Of course, you can have two, three, or even more pontics in a bridge.
All of the crowns are designed to look and feel like you’re existing teeth. You probably won’t notice any difference, except that you can chew comfortably and smile confidently. Other people won’t be able to tell the difference at all.
The type of bridge described above is known as a fixed bridge. It’s durable and should last around 10-12 years with care. There is a special flossing technique with fixed bridges which our staff will teach you. It’s important to prevent decay in the abutment teeth, because decay in those teeth can cause the bridge to fail. In that case, the bridge will likely need to be replaced.
A more durable and stronger type of bridge is the implant-supported bridge.
Implant Supported Bridges
The implant-supported bridge doesn’t rely on the neighboring teeth at all. Instead, the bridge is supported by two dental implants that are inserted through the gum and into the bone below.
Dental implants are tiny metal screw made of an extremely strong material like titanium. With traditional implants, there’s a period of time needed for the bone to fuse to the metal. Once that happens, the dental bridge is secured to the implants.
An implant-supported bridge is the most durable and strongest type of bridge. You can expect your dental work to last a very long time with care. The implants themselves should last as long as you live.
There’s a natural gap between the replacement tooth or teeth and the remaining natural teeth. You floss between those teeth and your bridge just like you do the rest of your teeth.
For more information on dental implants, you can visit our implants page.
If you’re tired of chewing on one side or embarrassed by your smile due to missing teeth, you really should consider getting a dental bridge. There’s only one way to be certain which type of bridge is the best option for you, and that’s to schedule a consultation with our doctors.
To make an appointment, please contact our Peabody, MA office by calling 978-278-1760. Or, you can send us a message via our online form. We’ll be happy to arrange a day and time that works for you schedule.
If you’ve been living with missing teeth, and thought there was nothing you could do about it, let us show you what a difference a dental bridge can make in your life. You’ll look better, feel better, and eat better for a long time to come. And you’ll probably smile more, too.
Call Contemporary Dentistry and Implantology today to schedule your appointment! We look forward to seeing you.