One day you may be going about your business as usual and the next, you could take a door to the face and dislodge a tooth. Random things can happen all the time, which is why, in some instances, it may be good to be prepared. Because the majority of our nutrition enters our bodies through the mouth, it is very important if we want to ensure a speedy recovery and exemplary health, that we take care of our teeth. If one happens to fall out, especially if it is one of the less noticeable back molars, you may not think of it as a big deal. The truth is each tooth can be essential to an optimal lifestyle and here at Olympia Prosthodontics & Cosmetic Dentistry, we know what to do if you permanently lose one.
WHAT ARE BRIDGES?
Known as a fixed, removable denture, a bridge is often used to replace one or several missing teeth. While it can be common to use your natural teeth as an anchor, implants, and a combination of both can be implemented in securing your bridge. Traditionally, a crown is attached to the teeth on either side of the gap, and then the replacement is adhered to the crowns. Part of the enamel of the healthy teeth may need to be ground away to apply the crown, which means this procedure could cause permanent damage to your natural tooth. This makes it essential to keep up with checkups to ensure your teeth remain strong.
A cantilever bridge can be used if you do not have teeth on both sides available to support a bridge. The artificial tooth may be attached by only one side, but it is rarely used because the biting force may be too strong for with only one tooth to support it. Maryland bridges are a less common option because it is usually reserved for front teeth that do not chew. The artificial tooth is given wings with resin or metal and bonded to either side of the gap by supporting teeth. Most bridges are permanent because of the bonding or cementing process used to anchor the teeth.
HOW BRIDGES CAN BENEFIT YOU
Though it may seem like a lot of work for a single tooth that did not seem very important, in reality losing a tooth can cause a domino effect that can be catastrophic for not only the surrounding teeth but also your overall health. Without a tooth in the socket, the cells in your jawbone will stop sending the signal to regenerate the structure. In time, it will resorb, which means the bone begins to deteriorate. This could change the shape of your face, but more importantly, it will likely compromise the bone foundation for the other teeth. This may cause them to loosen and fall out.
Bridges can keep teeth firmly in place to prevent shifting. It generally takes two visits to get a bridge. The first is spent preparing your support teeth. Impressions may be taken of your mouth for accuracy. You will also have temporary crowns placed until the prosthetic is applied at the next appointment. A cared-for bridge can last around seven years. This includes brushing twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and flossing, especially around your bridge, to prevent buildup.
A sturdy replacement bridge may be the answer you are looking for in a healthy smile, even with a missing tooth. If you would like to know more about the types of bridges we offer, including complete fixed bridge or partial fixed bridge, please call us here at Olympia Prosthodontics & Cosmetic Dentistry at (360) 456-1200 for more information or to schedule an appointment.