You wake up every morning and there it is, staring right back at you in the mirror.
It’s that empty space in your smile where a tooth used to be. The tooth was knocked loose a few years back when you collided with another player during a pickup basketball game. You had the tooth removed but couldn’t afford to have the gap filled at the time.
But you’re a working adult now and you’re tired and embarrassed by your missing tooth. At Aspire Dental Health we can restore your smile with several strategies, but the best strategy may be a dental bridge.
A dental bridge is basically a false tooth that serves as a replacement for your missing tooth. The bridge can be permanently attached to the front of an unaffected tooth or be a removable appliance that can be attached to adjacent teeth on both sides of the empty space.
The most common reason for needing a dental bridge is a traumatic event such as a traffic accident, a fall, a collision during a sporting event, or a workplace accident. They also can be used in children who have lost teeth because of decay or other dental complications.
Even though the replacement is an artificial tooth, it helps patients of all ages to rebuild their confidence when they’re out in public and improve their self-esteem. Especially in a school-age child, a missing tooth can lead to constant bullying on the playground and other awkward social situations.
There are different types of prosthetic bridges — some are fixed and some are removable.
Fixed dental bridges require that the crown of the tooth is retained in place through the rest of the life of the tooth. This will ensure that the patient will not need any further surgery to get the remaining teeth attached. This type of procedure can be performed under local anesthetic. Patients may also experience sensitivity and swelling in the immediate weeks after the procedure. However, this swelling usually goes down over time.
Removable dental bridges require that the crowns or prosthetic teeth do not need to be retained in place through the remainder of your life. They are designed for patients who are not good candidates for placement on implants. They are made from porcelain veneers that look and feel like natural teeth. They are permanent solutions that provide patients with lasting results. During the procedure, the prosthetic or crowns are screwed directly onto the remaining teeth.
There is no healing involved after a dental bridge procedure. This means that there is no chance of infection and no need for antibiotics. This option is also beneficial because there are no wires that attach the prosthetic teeth to your existing teeth. Additionally, the procedure does not involve any jaw loss since the adjacent teeth are not disturbed.
If a patient is missing multiple teeth, the best strategy may be implanted that serve as abutments for an extended bridge that includes more than one tooth. Dental implants are not recommended for people who suffer from serious dental problems because they would not qualify as good candidates.