If you’re an adult who has lost one or more of your natural teeth, you’re in good company. The American Dental Association reports that approximately 67 percent of adults have lost at least one natural tooth by age 45. The leading causes of tooth loss include tooth decay and trauma to the mouth. Additionally, sometimes dentists must extract a tooth when they could not save it by performing a root canal.
No matter how you lost your natural tooth, it is important to have it replaced with a dental bridge as soon as possible. Although missing teeth may only seem like a cosmetic issue to you, they have a big impact on your oral health. Your lost tooth leaves an open spot that makes it possible for the remaining teeth to gradually shift. This can cause facial sagging, improper alignment, and bite problems. It also increases your risk of developing temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), gum disease, and tooth decay. A dental bridge prevents this from happening.
Which Type of Dental Bridge is Right for You?
A dental bridge contains a replacement tooth attached to wire brackets that Dr. Nia, Dr. Taub, or Dr. Posey attaches to the teeth to the immediate left and right. Its function is to conceal tooth loss and prevent shifting that can cause alignment and other problems in the future. Your dentist determines the type of dental bridge to use depending on how many teeth you have lost and where the gap is located in your mouth. The following three types are the most common:
Cantilever: This is a good choice if there is only one nearby tooth available to support the hardware for the new bridge, such as your back teeth.
Fixed: With a fixed bridge, your dentist places a crown on either end and then inserts your replacement teeth in between them. He then puts the crowns on top of the supporting teeth on either side of the one he is replacing. The support from the anchoring teeth allows your replacement teeth to securely rest on your gum line. A fixed bridge can go anywhere in your mouth.
Maryland: Also known as a resin-bonded bridge, this type covers larger gaps left by missing teeth. Your dentist at Suwanee Center for Family Dentistry affixes metal bands to supporting teeth to hold it in place. This dental bridge type is a good option when you are missing your front teeth. That is because your dentist can install the metal bands behind the teeth where they aren’t noticeable to others. He may also recommend a Maryland bridge if your supporting teeth are strong enough to not require a crown.
Missing teeth can make you feel unattractive and self-conscious. It’s important to schedule a consultation at our dental practice as soon as you lose the teeth to discuss replacement. It’s also possible that another option, such as dental implants or a dental crown, may be more appropriate for your situation. We will discuss all restorative dentistry options during your consultation and recommend the one best suited to your needs.