Nearly 180 million people in the United States are missing at least one tooth, according to the American College of Prosthodontists. Alieh Rastegari, DDS, knows that even a single missing tooth puts you at risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and other serious dental concerns. That’s why she offers fixed dental bridges at Caspian Dental Center in Katy, Texas. A dental bridge restores the appearance and function of your teeth if you have a missing tooth. To learn more, call Caspian Dental Center or schedule a visit online.
A dental bridge is a fixed prosthetic appliance that replaces a missing tooth by attaching a false tooth — called a pontic — to your surrounding teeth. Much like an architectural bridge, the teeth on each side of your false tooth — called abutments — support the new pontic.
There are many benefits to a dental bridge. They can:
Unlike removable dentures, a dental bridge is fixed to your teeth, so you can clean and care for it just like the rest of your teeth.
When teeth are lost and not replaced with a dental bridge or implant, it can cause an array of serious dental problems, including:
Missing teeth can lead to facial changes when your face begins to sag and looks more sunken in appearance. The mouth loses its shape while the chin appears more pointed. In addition, many people notice that their lips look thinner over time.
When you have a missing tooth, the rest of your teeth eventually start shifting to make up for the gap. This can lead to tooth decay, bite misalignment, and uncomfortable chewing.
A missing tooth, especially if it’s close to the front of your mouth, can cause changes in your speech patterns. In many cases, even one missing tooth leads to slurred speech, a lisp, or increased spitting when you talk.
When there’s no longer a tooth to support, the structural tissue and jawbone begin to weaken and atrophy in the area where the tooth root was. The jawbone eventually loses bone mass in the area.
A dental bridge restores your natural bite and tooth function, so you can eat, smile, and speak with confidence.
Once you decide that a dental bridge is the right tooth replacement option for you, Dr. Rastegari can prepare your two abutment teeth for dental crowns — tooth-shaped caps that strengthen the teeth.
To prepare your abutment teeth, Dr. Rastegari removes a portion of enamel and files them. This helps make room for your new crowns.
Next, she makes highly accurate impressions of your teeth to serve as models for your crowns and pontic. Creating a full dental bridge typically takes about two weeks, during which time Dr. Rastegari provides a temporary bridge.
At your second appointment, Dr. Rastegari removes the temporary bridge and replaces it with your new custom-fit bridge. After making any necessary adjustments, she cements the bridge in place. Your bridge is now permanently attached and can only be removed by a dentist.
Dr. Rastegari may schedule you for a follow-up appointment to ensure your fit is perfect. To learn more, call Caspian Dental Center or schedule a visit online today.