Many patients choose a dental bridge to replace one missing tooth or a few missing teeth in the same area of the mouth. This secure, reliable, dental restoration is a permanent, affordable, minimally invasive repair that both looks and feels natural. The experienced dental team at Ingleside Family Dental in Ladson, South Carolina, is proud to offer dental bridges to qualified candidates.
How Does a Dental Bridge Work?
A dental bridge creates a connection between two teeth and fills in the hole left between them by a missing tooth. Its presence also helps prevent the wear of surrounding teeth. Once your Ladson dentist has determined that a dental bridge will work for you, here is what you can expect:
- Design: A dental bridge is designed to support a false tooth to fill in the hole in your smile. The entire restoration is customized to match your tooth enamel and the size of neighboring teeth, so it blends into your smile. Dental bridges can be made of different materials. What is used for your restoration will depend on your budget, preferences, and your dentist’s recommendations, but most bridges are either made of porcelain fused to ceramic or porcelain fused to metal.
- Preparation: The permanent teeth on either side of the missing tooth are altered and shaped to make room for the bridge and its components. These teeth must be healthy and strong so they can serve as a solid, stable foundation for the restoration.
- Bonding: The bridge is clasped to the nearby treated teeth and secured in place, usually using metal clasps. Customized porcelain crowns are then bonded over the nearby treated teeth to permanently anchor the bridge in place.
The Importance of Replacing Missing Teeth
When a missing tooth is in a prominent position in the mouth, most patients will choose to have it replaced so their smile is not tremendously altered. A missing molar, however, may feel like something you can live without. This decision is a risky one.
Every tooth has a job to do and, when one is missing anywhere in your mouth, your oral health will be negatively affected. If you don’t replace a missing tooth, over time any of the following problems could develop:
- Floating teeth: The teeth on either side of a missing tooth will float to fill in the empty space, causing gaps, misalignment, and tissue damage.
- Altered face shape: Every tooth supports the jawbone in its own little area. A missing tooth leads to an unstimulated jawbone and changes the shape of your face to make you look older.
- Eating difficulties: Eating, biting, and chewing will be difficult when a tooth is missing, and food will settle in the open space.
- Compromised speech: Articulation and diction can be affected by a missing tooth, making the tooth’s absence that much more noticeable.
- Poor self-esteem: If you’re embarrassed a missing tooth or teeth, your confidence will suffer. You’ll be less likely to laugh, smile, or speak.
Are You a Good Candidate for a Dental Bridge?
If you have a missing tooth, your Ladson dentist will examine your mouth before making any recommendations about dental restorations. The reason for your missing tooth is relevant and will be taken into consideration.
- Trauma: If you lost a tooth because of dental trauma – like a sporting injury or a blow to the mouth – the area will need to be thoroughly examined to make sure no bits of your tooth remain. Nearby teeth will need to be checked for stability.
- Gum disease: If you suffer from gum disease and it resulted in extraction, your entire mouth will need to be treated for the infection before dental restorations of any kind can be done.
- Location: The location of your missing tooth will impact whether a dental bridge is a good solution or if another restoration may be more advisable, like a dental implant.
Get a Dental Bridge in Ladson, SC
You don’t have to feel self-conscious about an incomplete smile. Find out whether a dental bridge is right for you. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Mathew at Ingleside Family Dental in Ladson, SC, to learn more.