How Effective Are Dental Bridges for Replacing Missing Teeth?
For patients with tooth loss, dental bridges can fill the spaces between remaining teeth. A bridge may be attached to crowns on each end or else adhered to the teeth beside the gap, serving as an effective solution for tooth replacement.
What types of bridges are used in dentistry?
There are four main types of dental bridges:
- Traditional: False teeth are held by dental crowns cemented to the patient's teeth
- Cantilever: Similar to traditional, but the false teeth only require one abutment tooth
- Maryland: Similar to traditional, but the bridge uses a framework of metal or porcelain
- Implant-supported: The restoration teeth are held by implants instead of crowns
The most common materials used to make modern bridges are porcelain teeth bonded to metal. Patients may undergo several steps to obtain a dental bridge. The teeth on each side of the gap need to be recontoured to place a crown over the top. Next, the dentist takes an impression of the teeth and creates a model. The model is used to create the crowns, false teeth, and bridge.
Individuals may receive a temporary bridge to protect the gums until the final steps of the process. The dentist then ensures the permanent bridge fits properly in the mouth and complements the patient's bite.
How do bridges benefit patients with lost teeth?
One of the significant benefits of a dental bridge is its ability to restore a patient's smile. Many patients are uncomfortable or self-conscious about missing teeth. There are a number of functional advantages to these restorations as well.
Chewing food without teeth can cause gum sensitivity and jaw soreness. When an individual is missing teeth, the jaw has to work harder. The dental bridge takes the pressure off of the gums and jaw. Bridges behave much like natural teeth in how they enable patients to chew properly.
Losing teeth can affect a person's facial appearance beyond gaps in the smile. The teeth are responsible for stimulating the jawbone to produce bone cells. Without teeth, the jawbone deteriorates, and the shape of the lower jaw may shrink and rotate forward. A dental bridge can continue to stimulate the area of gums to avoid an altered appearance.
With missing teeth, patients may lose the ability to speak correctly. Sometimes people have difficulty making certain sounds or articulating words. Dental bridges fill in for natural teeth, allowing patients to talk normally.
There are a lot of reasons a patient's teeth may shift. One reason for teeth to move occurs when a patient has missing teeth. The teeth next to and opposite the gap may shift into the new space if a patient loses one tooth. Having a dental bridge helps prevent adjacent teeth from drifting or becoming loose because of the gap.
Dental bridges are permanent solutions to missing teeth. The loss of teeth can alter a person's facial structure, speech, chewing, and adjacent teeth. With the use of a bridge, the patient may enjoy a restored smile and bite.
Request an appointment here: https://www.belairdentalassociates.com or call Belair Dental Associates at (706) 426-5520 for an appointment in our Evans office.
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