When (and why) Consider a Dental Bridge

When (and why) Consider a Dental Bridge

Close to 180 million Americans are missing at least one tooth and millions more are missing multiple teeth. Sometimes despite good dental care, things happen. When you find yourself missing one or more teeth, it’s important to discuss restoration options. Missing teeth can have a negative impact on your oral health.

Smile expert Nupur Gupta, DDS, and our team at Perfect Smiles Dental of Pleasant Hill offer several restoration options for missing teeth, including dental bridges. After you come in for an exam, our team can discuss the best options to restore your smile.

If you're interested in dental bridges and pondering whether one could be the answer for you, look no further. We’ve compiled this comprehensive article to assist you when considering a dental bridge.

The impact of missing teeth

Tooth loss can compromise jaw function and reduce the health of your existing teeth. When there are voids between teeth, adjacent teeth can migrate into the empty spaces. When teeth are not in the correct position, problems with bite alignment, uneven teeth wear, and jaw stress can develop.

Teeth that drift too close together can make it more difficult to remove food debris from between the teeth, causing bacteria to fester and eat away at the tooth's critical enamel, leading to gum disease and additional tooth loss. Restoring missing teeth keeps your mouth healthy. 

Why you need all your teeth

Teeth are meant to function as a unit. Each tooth contributes to your capacity to effectively talk and chew. Your front teeth aid in precise cutting and play a significant part in your speech. If you are missing a tooth in this region, it may be more difficult to speak and eat.

Your rear teeth are also essential. These teeth facilitate digestion by pulverizing food before it enters the stomach. When you lack back teeth, you are unable to properly masticate food.

In addition, each tooth helps preserve the position of the other teeth in the mouth. Without a proper restoration, you may experience a reduction in bone density, which could lead to more dental problems.

When a dental bridge is a good option

While dental implants are an exceptional option for replacing missing teeth, there are circumstances where a dental bridge is preferable. For example, if you have been informed that you have considerable bone loss in your jaw, we may recommend a dental bridge instead of implants.

To support an implant, individuals with significant bone loss require bone grafting and must have enough bone density.

Instead of drilling into bone, dental bridges are bonded to adjacent teeth. Dr. Gupta installs crowns on the teeth on either side of the afflicted region. The bridge is composed of artificial teeth that function identically to your original teeth, allowing you to eat, drink, and speak with ease.

With the bridge firmly in place, along with good oral hygiene and routine dental care, your natural teeth remain in place, allowing you to avoid more significant issues in the future. Dental bridges are also a good option when you’re missing two or three teeth in a row.

There are four main types of bridges available: standard dental bridges, cantilever dental bridges, implant-supported dental bridges, and Maryland dental bridges. The type of dental bridges our team recommends depends on individual circumstances. Our goal is to recommend the most appropriate option.

If you’re missing one or more teeth, stop in for a dental exam so that we can get you started with restoring your smile. Call 925-578-4311 to schedule a visit with Dr. Gupta. Our team is ready to assist. 

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