Whether you are missing a single tooth or multiple teeth, adult tooth loss can be a detriment to both your smile and your health. Furthermore, the longer a tooth is missing, the greater risks a person faces of additional complications, such as changing facial structure and shifting teeth. By choosing the right cosmetic dentist and the right restorative treatment, you can combat tooth loss with a permanent restorative replacement.
At our Chicago dental practice, we want to provide patients with the most appropriate tooth replacement treatment, according to their individual needs. One such treatment is dental bridges, which can effectively restore a smile for the right candidates.
How Does a Dental Bridge Work?
Replacement teeth, usually crafted from porcelain or composite resin, are fastened to crowns on either end, which is supported by existing teeth or dental implants. By capping these teeth, the bridge holds the attached replacements in place, creating a realistic row of teeth.
For patients who have already had implants installed or wish to preserve remaining teeth through crowns, bridges can be an extremely efficient method of replacement.
Candidates for Dental Bridges
Generally, most patients with minor or moderate tooth loss are good candidates for bridges. However, that the remaining teeth must be strong and healthy enough to support a bridge. As with many dental procedures, the best candidates are those with good hygiene and good overall health.
Patients who suffer from extensive tooth loss, such as an entire row of teeth, may not be the best candidates for bridges. Instead, full dentures may be a more practical solution. Speak with your dentist to determine the most effective form of tooth replacement for you.
Benefits of Dental Bridges
As a reliable tooth replacement option, bridges can provide numerous benefits, including:
- A restored bite: By replacing your teeth, a bridge restores the functionality of your bite. Diet, speech, and aesthetics are immediately improved. The possibility of shifting teeth is eliminated as they are once again held in place by a full bite.
- A beautiful smile: Bridges are crafted to mimic the size and shape of your natural teeth, complementing your smile. When crafted from porcelain, replacement teeth are stain-resistant, durable, and nearly identical to tooth tissue.
- No surgery: A bridge is simply capped over existing teeth, similar to a regular dental crown procedure. In this way, bridges do not require any oral surgery and, in turn, carry very few risks.
- Long-lasting treatment: The longevity of a bridge depends on its material and a patient’s hygiene habits. With the right care, a bridge can last for 15 years or longer.
When supported by dental implants, bridges can also help prevent the gradual deterioration of the bone that accompanies tooth loss.
Alternatives to Dental Bridges
While dental bridges may be a viable solution for some, other patients may find that dental implants can more effectively address their needs. Likewise, patients with advanced tooth loss may best benefit from dentures or a combination thereof.
Combat Tooth Loss Today
Missing teeth are nothing to smile about. If you are in need of tooth replacement and would like to hear more about dental bridges or an alternative treatment option, contact our office. We will gladly address your questions and concerns and can help you set up an appointment with Dr. Craig S. Kohler.