Tooth loss is a serious oral health issue. Even the loss of just one tooth can have a major impact. Chewing, which is an essential step in the digestive process, becomes exceedingly difficult. Moreover, without properly chewing your food, your body cannot properly absorb nutrients. Depending upon the location of the tooth, your speech may be affected. Adjacent teeth may wander into the space left behind by your missing teeth, throwing off your bite. Even the quality of your smile and your confidence can be impacted. At National Dental East Meadow, we can help restore the form and function to your smile with a dental bridge.
WHAT IS A DENTAL BRIDGE?
A bridge is a restoration designed to replace anywhere from one to three missing teeth. Frequently made of ceramic, it “bridges” the gap between two teeth. The restoration consists of your replacement tooth (or teeth) set between two dental crowns, which anchor on the adjacent healthy teeth. It is meant to restore the functions of your teeth, and in the case of a ceramic bridge, your smile.
HOW IS A DENTAL BRIDGE PLACED?
The procedure for placing a dental bridge is almost the same as the procedure for placing a dental crown. After all, the teeth adjacent to the gap (the abutment teeth) need to be prepared for the placement of the bridge. We first administer a local anesthetic. Once it takes effect, we trim, or remove, some of the enamel from each of the abutment teeth. Next, we take a mold of your mouth, which is used to design and create your custom dental bridge. When it is ready, the restoration is checked for fit (and color) and cemented into place.
TAKING CARE OF YOUR DENTAL BRIDGE
It is important that you take care of your bridge just like you would take care of the rest of your natural teeth. The material can, and should, be brushed and flossed on a daily basis. Even though ceramic cannot experience tooth decay, it will still collect plaque and bacteria that can lead to gum disease. Avoid biting down on anything hard, such as ice, your fingernails, or writing instruments. Moreover, it is important that you maintain your regular dental cleanings and exams. We can help you to keep your bridge clean and check for signs of damage. Properly cared for, bridges can last up to 15 years or more.
DENTAL BRIDGE BENEFITS
Dental bridges come with several benefits:
- Improved ability to eat. This can also improve your digestion, as the ability of your body to absorb nutrients depends heavily upon how well the food is broken down by the teeth.
- Improved speech.
- Improved oral health (food is no longer able to get lodged in the gap left behind by a missing tooth).
- Your adjacent teeth are kept in proper alignment. A bridge prevents surrounding teeth from shifting into the space, which would otherwise throw off your bite.
If you have experienced tooth loss, even if it’s only one tooth, taking action to have that missing tooth replaced is important. Contact National Dental East Meadow at (516) 962-2292 to find out if a dental bridge is right for you.