When you lose your teeth, several things occur. Biting and chewing become more of a challenge. You may develop a lisp, or have trouble speaking. Depending upon the location of your missing teeth, your smile may also be affected. Healthy teeth shift out of place, causing other oral health issues. Even losing one tooth can have a serious impact, even if that missing tooth is out of sight when you smile. Replacing your missing teeth, no matter how few are missing, is essential. At Plymouth Ann Arbor Oral & Facial Surgery, we can replace small sections of missing teeth with bridges.
A bridge is a traditional treatment for replacing up to three consecutive missing teeth. There are a few different types of bridges:
Benefits of a Bridge
A bridge offers several benefits for the replacement of your missing teeth.
Getting a bridge takes two separate appointments. At your first appointment, the abutment teeth are prepared. Done under a local anesthetic, this involves the removal of a portion of the enamel from each abutment tooth. This creates the space necessary for the bridge to fit properly into place. After the teeth are prepared, we take impressions of your mouth. The impressions are sent to a dental lab, where the bridge is designed and created. Because it can take up to two weeks for the restoration to be completed and returned, a temporary restoration is placed while you wait. Once your bridge has been sent back, it is time for your second appointment. At this visit, we check the bridge for proper fit, comfort, and aesthetics and cement it into place.
Are There Alternatives to a Bridge?
While a traditional bridge does a good job of restoring the functions of your missing teeth and your smile, it cannot stop the bone loss that occurs when you suffer tooth loss. As a result, even though your teeth have been replaced, the bone continues to weaken. This leads to the need to have the restoration replaced periodically. As an alternative to this traditional treatment, we also provide implant supported bridges. With this treatment, titanium posts are surgically implanted directly into the jawbone. The bone fuses to the implants, allowing them to become stable roots that then support your ceramic crowns. Unlike bridges, dental implants stimulate the jawbone just like your natural teeth, preventing bone loss and keeping your jaw strong and healthy.
Even one missing tooth can have a major impact on your life. Replacing your missing teeth is important for restoring function and aesthetics to your mouth. For more information, and to schedule your consultation, call Plymouth Ann Arbor Oral & Facial Surgery today at (734) 455-0710.