When you lose a tooth, it may not seem like such a big deal, especially if it’s in an area that’s not visible when you speak or smile. However, the truth is, even the loss of a single tooth can have an impact on your quality of life. Missing a tooth can make it more difficult to eat. Depending upon the location of the tooth, it can interfere with your speech. Food can get stuck in the space, and it can be difficult to properly clean the area, leading to a higher risk for tooth decay and gum disease. Moreover, on top of all of that, your surrounding teeth may begin to shift from their natural positions, throwing off your bite. At Smiles of Tulsa, we provide you with several options for the replacement of missing teeth. One of the options available to you is a dental bridge.
What is a Dental Bridge?A lost tooth leaves a gap in your smile. A bridge is designed to “bridge” that gap. A bridge can be used to replace up to three missing teeth. It is frequently made out of ceramic, a material well known for its ability to mimic both the color and the sheen of your natural teeth. Your replacement tooth (or teeth) are set between two crowns, which are set on the adjacent healthy teeth. These abutment teeth hold the bridge firmly in place.
How is a Dental Bridge Placed?Having a bridge placed is fairly similar to the procedure used to place a dental crown. First, your abutment teeth need to be prepared. This means that we trim, or remove, some of the enamel of your teeth, creating room for the bridge to fit perfectly in amongst your existing teeth. After the teeth are prepared, a mold of your mouth is taken and sent to a lab, where your custom fit bridge is created. The process often takes a couple of weeks, so a temporary bridge is placed in its stead. When ready, the bridge is checked for fit and cemented into place. Once set, your smile is restored, as are the normal functions of your mouth.
Caring for Your Dental BridgeCaring for a bridge is no different from caring for the rest of your natural teeth. Brushing and flossing are still a critical part of your oral hygiene routine, as these habits can prevent the buildup of plaque and bacteria on both your bridge and your natural teeth. Regular dental cleanings and exams will ensure that your bridge is in good shape. Properly cared for, a bridge can last 15 years or more.
Benefits of a Dental BridgeThere are several benefits to a bridge:
Replacing missing teeth, even if it’s only one, is essential for the health, function, and appearance of your mouth. Contact Smiles of Tulsa at (918) 891-3059 to schedule your appointment today!