When a tooth is lost, whether due to disease or injury, the impact on your smile could be devastating. To fill the gaps and protect your smile, your Richfield, MN, dentist will talk about how we treat tooth loss with a custom and lifelike dental bridge, one that helps restore function and beauty to your smile.
The Impact of a Lost Tooth
When you lose a tooth, this means a gap is now present in your smile, and could cause surrounding teeth to drift from position. The resulting misalignment not only alters smile beauty, but also increases the risk of tooth decay and gum disease, as teeth are now harder to clean when you brush and floss. The risk of TMJ disorder and bruxism (chronic teeth grinding) could develop, due to the changes in your bite’s balance. For others, this could alter how you eat and speak, or simply cause embarrassment. By addressing the gap, you avoid these implications and smile with confidence again!
Crafting a Dental Bridge
A dental bridge helps address between one and up to three teeth in a row. To create one, we start by numbing the teeth on either side of the gap, known as abutment teeth, and removing structure from them. Next, we take detailed images with digital technology, which we use to craft a 3D computer impression with detail and accuracy. This allows us to design and create your prosthetic. The bridge will contain one or more pontics, or replacement teeth, with crowns attached to each end. We create the prosthetic from materials like ceramic, which we can shade to blend with the smile seamlessly. They also provide a durable and dependable chewing surface.
Placing Your Dental Prosthetic
When your prosthetic is ready, we will attach the crowns to the abetment teeth, securing it firmly in place. This will allow you to eat and speak with ease, and provide a lifelike solution. This bridge could last for up to 15 years with proper care and attention, the same care that could help prevent further tooth loss. You should continue to see us every six months for a checkup and cleaning, so we can monitor your smile for signs of disease and other factors behind tooth loss. At home, brush and floss daily, and clean the space between the top of your gums and the bottom of the bridge, where food could accumulate. Try to avoid tobacco products, and cut back on sugary and starchy foods and drinks too!
Do You Have Questions About Prosthetic Dentistry?
We would like to help you enjoy a full smile again with a custom and effective tooth replacement. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, contact your Richfield, MN, dentist, Dr. Keller, by calling (612) 861-7188.