Losing even one tooth could mean serious problems for your smile, including factors that cause additional missing teeth. To avoid these complications, the missing tooth needs to be replaced with a prosthetic. In today’s blog, your Houston, TX, dentist talks about how we use custom and lifelike bridges to replace missing teeth.
The Causes and Complications of Tooth Loss
We could lose our natural teeth for a number of different reasons. For example, an injury that knocks one loose or out, or untreated cavities and infections. The advanced stage of gum disease, periodontitis, is a very common cause too. When we lose a tooth, the body will respond by suspending the flow of calcium and phosphorus to the jawbone, causing the jaw to lose mass and density and over time, causing further tooth loss. The surrounding teeth will also begin to drift due to the open space in your smile, causing misalignment and further complications. The strain on your bite balance and jaw joints could also lead to TMJ disorder and bruxism (teeth grinding). We haven’t even mentioned the complication for how you eat and speak!
A dental bridge can help you avoid many of these complications by replacing between one and up to three teeth in a row on average. To begin, our team will numb the teeth on each side of the gap. These are the abutment teeth. We then remove structure from them and take detailed digital images. We use these in a lab setting to design and fabricate the prosthetic. The finished bridge consists of the new teeth and crowns attached to each end. We craft the prosthetic from ceramic, which can absorb daily bite forces and be shaded to blend with the smile. The crowns will be connected to the abutment teeth and anchor the new teeth firmly in place. This option lasts about 10 to 15 years, requiring replacement as the jaw ridge changes shape due to loss of mass and density.
We could also secure one with one or two dental implants, inserting them directly into the jaw. Since the body sees them as new roots, this prevents changes to the jaw ridge, so your prosthetic can now last for decades to come, or possibly a lifetime in some cases. Our team will help you decide which bridge your smile needs, and will make sure you can smile with confidence once again!
TALK TO YOUR HOUSTON, TX DENTIST ABOUT TREATING TOOTH LOSS
We want to help treat your missing teeth with a durable and natural looking dental prosthetic known as a dental bridge. If you have questions or need to set up an appointment, contact your Houston, TX, dentist, Dr. Chan, by calling 713-926-8896.