When you lose a tooth, particularly one that is not visible when you smile, you probably don’t think too much about it. However, even one missing tooth can cause serious oral health problems. At National Dental Sunnyside, we can help. We provide options for replacing a missing tooth, including bridges.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU LOSE A TOOTH?
Tooth loss causes several different issues. One of the most obvious effects, depending on the location of the missing tooth, is in your appearance. A missing tooth can affect your ability to properly chew your food. Food can become lodged in the space, which can promote gum disease and tooth decay. It can affect your speech, causing a lisp. Your adjacent teeth can shift from their natural positions, moving into the empty space. This can throw off your natural bite, causing excessive wear on your teeth, and pain in your jaw.
WHAT ARE DENTAL BRIDGES
A bridge is a dental restoration that bridges the gap left behind by your missing tooth. It can be used to replace up to three missing teeth. Typically made from ceramic, it consists of a false tooth (or teeth) set between two crowns. The false tooth, or pontic tooth, fills the space, while the crowns anchor onto your adjacent healthy teeth, securing your restoration in place.
HOW ARE BRIDGES PLACED?
The procedure used for placing a bridge is fairly similar to the procedure for placing dental crowns. We begin by administering a local anesthetic, which will aid in easing any discomfort. Your adjacent teeth are trimmed, a process in which we remove some of their enamel, creating sufficient space for your bridge to fit naturally into place. We then take an impression. The impression is sent to a lab, where your bridge is custom designed and created. While you wait (it can take up to two weeks), you are provided with a temporary restoration, which will protect your teeth from bacteria. Once your bridge is ready, we check it for fit and cement it in place.
DOES MY BRIDGE REQUIRE SPECIAL CARE?
A bridge can be cared for just like the rest of your natural teeth. They may not be able to suffer tooth decay and develop cavities, but they can still collect plaque and bacteria, which can lead to gum disease. It is recommended that you brush your bridge as normal, at least twice a day, and floss daily. You should also maintain regular dental visits at least twice a year. Along with cleaning and examining your teeth, we will also clean and inspect your bridge, checking for signs of damage, and ensuring that it is in good condition.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A BRIDGE?
There are many benefits to a bridge:
- It restores the quality of your smile.
- You can chew your food properly again, which can help to improve your digestion.
- Your speech is improved.
- Your oral health is improved.
It might not seem like a big deal, but one missing tooth can affect your quality of life. If you have experienced tooth loss, call National Dental Sunnyside at (718) 925-3365 to schedule your appointment today.