There are several advantages to replacing your missing teeth. If you have gaps in your grin, your remaining teeth can drift out of alignment and strike each other at improper angles. This can lead to damage to your enamel and the structure of your teeth. Those spaces in your smile provide extra places for plaque and bacteria to accumulate. Additionally, a full set of teeth allows you to eat and speak more effectively. And of course, lost teeth can affect your self-esteem and confidence.
Dental implants are very popular because they are easy to care for and very sturdy. However, they do require surgery, and some people are not good candidates for implants because of medical issues. Dentures are easy to clean, and can often be crafted and ready to wear in a single day. But not everyone is comfortable wearing dentures, and they may trigger the gag reflex in others. A dental bridge may be a good compromise for people who cannot have implants and do not want to wear dentures. A bridge does not need to be removed for cleaning, and it does not require surgery. To place a bridge, the dentist will use the two teeth on either end of the gap in your teeth for anchors. Your dentist will remove the enamel from these teeth, and take an impression of that area and the surrounding parts of your mouth. Temporary crowns and a bridge will be placed in your mouth while a dental lab crafts your permanent dental work. When it is ready, your dentist will place the permanent crown and bridge in your mouth, and secure the work with dental cement. You will need to brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day. Your crowns will protect your teeth, except at the gum line where they will still be vulnerable to decay. Tooth decay and gum disease can cause your crowns and bridge to fail. If you have problems flossing around your bridge, ask your dentist about using a water flosser or floss threader.
If you have missing teeth, and would like to find out if a dental bridge is right for you, our dentist, Dr. John Lee will be happy to see you for a consultation. If you live in the Fresno, California area, call 559-439-9621 today to schedule an appointment at John Lee, DDS.