Every last one of your teeth is important. They help to keep each other in alignment, allowing for a proper bite. They play a critical role in your smile and the shape of your face. Your teeth are also important for proper biting, chewing, and speaking. Losing any number of teeth causes serious complications. At Tim Perry, DDS, we offer several options for replacing missing teeth, including bridges.
Is a Bridge Right for Me?
You can lose a tooth for several different reasons. You can lose one or more teeth because of issues like facial trauma or gum disease. You may need to have a tooth removed because it is significantly damaged or decayed. When you suffer tooth loss, the missing teeth need to be replaced. One way to do this is with a bridge.
A bridge is a treatment that is frequently used to replace a missing tooth, although it can be used to replace up to three in a row. There are a few different types that can be used. The most common is a fixed bridge, but others include cantilever and resin-bonded bridges.
Bridges Vs. a Partial Denture
While bridges are a common solution for replacing a section of missing teeth, there is also another option, a partial denture. While a bridge can replace up to three teeth, a partial denture is used to replace larger sections. Bridges use the teeth on each side of the gap to support your replacement teeth. A partial denture rests directly on the gums. It also has metal pieces that attach to your natural teeth for extra stability. While both of these restorations effectively replace your teeth, a bridge is fixed, or non-removable. A partial bridge, on the other hand, is removable. It is designed to be taken out each night before you go to bed.
Bridges Vs. Dental Implants
Another alternative to a traditional bridge is dental implants. Like a bridge, dental implants are a fixed restoration, meaning that they cannot be removed like a partial denture can. Unlike a traditional bridge, however, getting implants means that you will need to have surgery. Instead of using the teeth on each side of the gap, your replacement teeth are affixed to little posts made of titanium. These posts are implanted directly into your jawbone. You may need dental implants if you are missing one tooth or if you are missing several.
While more expensive, implants do provide a long-term option. However, if the jawbone is not strong enough to support the posts that need to be implanted, you may need an additional surgical procedure called a bone graft. Not only does this mean more surgery, but it also adds more to the final total of your treatment. A bridge does not require any surgery. Moreover, if you have already lost bone mass in your jaw, you will not need to worry about having to undergo a bone graft.
A bridge can help to replace missing teeth, restoring your smile and improving your oral health. To learn more, and find out if a bridge is right for you, contact Tim Perry, DDS at (318) 322-0576 today.