Effects of Losing a Tooth
Losing a tooth does more than just affect the quality of your smile. This is why, even when you cannot see the tooth when flashing a grin, it is important to replace it. Other effects of tooth loss may include:
- Difficulty chewing properly. When you cannot chew effectively, you are not able to completely break down foods. This makes digestion more difficult. Your body cannot fully absorb all of the nutrients from the foods you eat, which can lead to malnutrition.
- Development of a lisp.
- The risk for issues such as cavities, gum disease, and tooth damage increases.
- Your jawbone begins to weaken, which causes the bone to change shape. Eventually, your healthy teeth begin to shift out of alignment, which can lead to issues such as bruxism and TMD.
A bridge is a restoration commonly used to replace a single missing tooth, although it can be used to replace up to three missing teeth. There are a few different types of bridges, including Maryland Bonded Bridge, cantilever, and fixed. Fixed bridges are the most common, and are often made from ceramic. The pontic, or replacement tooth, is made to look exactly like a real tooth. It fills the space left behind by your missing tooth, restoring its function and appearance. A fixed bridge also has two crowns, one on each side of the pontic tooth. The crowns are used to anchor the bridge into place on your adjacent healthy teeth, working to hold the bridge securely in place.
The Process for Getting a Bridge
The process for getting a fixed dental bridge is fairly similar to the process for getting a crown. To place the bridge, we need to prepare the adjacent teeth where the bridge will be anchored. These teeth are called abutment teeth. Preparing these teeth involves removing a portion of the enamel from each one to make them smaller. This is done to ensure that your bridge fits properly and comfortably in your mouth. After preparing the teeth, we take an impression of your mouth. The impression is used to design and create your custom bridge. Once it is ready, we check the bridge for fit and bite and then cement it into place on the abutment teeth.
A bridge provides you with several significant benefits. These include:
- Enabling you to eat properly, improving your digestion and nutrition.
- Your speech is restored to normal.
- Your smile and confidence are restored.
- Helps to hold your adjacent teeth in proper alignment.
- Your oral health is improved.
- Bite pressures are evenly restored, reducing the risk of tooth damage.
If you have suffered tooth loss, it is essential that you have the tooth replaced as soon as possible. For more information, and to find out if a bridge is right for you, call Nicholas Dose, DMD Family Dental Care at (503) 647-4565 today.