December 1, 2012
A missing tooth can have a negative impact on the appearance of your smile. Depending on the location of the missing tooth, it can make chewing difficult, interfere with your ability to properly articulate, disrupt the balance of your bite, and result in an unhealthy-looking smile. If you are missing one or more teeth, the professionals at our Bridgeport cosmetic dentistry practice can determine if you are a good candidate for dental bridges. Dental bridges are custom-made dental prosthetics that take the place of a missing tooth, restoring the form and function of your smile. Here are some general characteristics and conditions that can make you a good candidate for dental bridges at our Bridgeport practice:
- Having healthy adjacent teeth that can serve as an adequate anchor for your dental bridge. For our patients in Bridgeport, dental crowns on adjacent teeth are one possible means of anchoring a bridge into place. These existing teeth must be altered to accommodate the crowns; once the crowns and bridge are in place, the gap left by the missing tooth or teeth will be filled. If you are missing several teeth, and your existing teeth have experienced significant damage or decay, you should consider dentures.
- Having adequate bone mass to support a dental implant. Dental implants are another means of anchoring a dental bridge. These titanium posts are surgically implanted in the jawbone to provide an anchor for crowns and bridges. However, if your jaw lacks bone mass, it cannot accommodate an implant.
- Being willing to wear a non-removable restoration. Dental bridges require some modifications to your daily dental health routine. You must pull floss from front to back when flossing near your bridge, because using and up-down motion may catch the underside of your bridge, causing it to become dislodged. If you prefer a restoration that can be removed for easier dental care, you might prefer partial dentures.
- Being willing to remain conscientious of your restoration. Dental bridges are a great solution for missing teeth, but it is important to understand that they are not intended to last forever. With proper care, you can expect them to last 10 years or more. First of all, maintaining a strict daily routine of thorough brushing and flossing is paramount to maximizing the benefits of a dental bridge. You can also preserve your bridge by avoiding overly hard or sticky foods that could potentially dislodge your bridge. If you do choose to consume these foods, you should try and chew them using the other side of your mouth, if possible.
If you wish to complete the structure and appearance of your smile, and avoid the eventual crowding of your teeth into an untreated gap, dental bridges may be an excellent solution for you. With a little discipline and mindfulness, a bridge can provide the balanced bite, natural appearance, and reliable function you deserve in your smile. If you are missing one or more teeth, contact our Bridgeport practice today to schedule a consultation. We can provide expert advice about your options for completing your smile and maintaining and excellent oral health.