Replacing a missing tooth is not only important for your emotional health, but it's also important for the health of your other teeth! If you're missing a tooth, you should consider getting a dental bridge. |
Missing teeth can be an emotional downer for anyone, especially if the missing tooth is one of your front teeth - your smile will reveal your missing tooth to everyone. A tooth-size gap between your teeth is also bad for your other teeth; they will eventually move and shift their positions, affecting your bite.
There are two popular solutions for missing teeth. The first is rather inexpensive. It's called a dental bridge and will be the focus of this article. The second option is very expensive. It's called a dental implant. A properly installed implant can cost thousands of dollars and will require almost two years of time before the procedure is complete.
A dental bridge is the quick and easy fix to replace a missing tooth. The entire process can be completed with just a few dental visits. There are two types of dental bridges you can choose from: a Maryland bridge and a three piece dental bridge that requires your dentist to grind down the adjacent teeth.
The three piece bridge requires significantly more preparation work to be performed before the bridge can be installed. This type of bridge consists of three independent dental devices permanently attached to each other. There are two crowns at the outside of the bridge and a pontic (fake tooth) that sits between the crowns.
The first step for installing the three-piece bridge is to grind down your adjacent teeth. Your dentist will need to remove quite a bit of enamel before he can permanently install the crowns on top of them. Once they are ready, he'll then take a mold of your teeth and forward it to a dental lab so they can craft a custom bridge for your teeth. While you're waiting for the lab to create your new bridge, he'll install a temporary bridge.
The alteration to your healthy teeth is irreversible, which is why a lot of people don't like the three piece bridge. However, this type of bridge will usually last 15 years while the Maryland bridge will only last 10 years or less.
The Maryland bridge doesn't require permanent alteration of your adjacent teeth. This type of bridge is held in place by wire "wing clips" that are permanently attached to the base of your adjacent teeth. This type of bridge is cheaper and easier to install. However, they are also more prone to breaking or coming free from their position.
The Maryland bridge is also known for casting a grey hue on the adjacent teeth. This is because of the steel wire that wraps around the base of your healthy teeth. It is possible to purchase a bridge that has tooth-colored wing clips that don't cast the grey hue. Of course, they are much more expensive to purchase! (If it was my mouth getting the bridge, I'd spend the money on the more expensive version.) One more negative aspect of the Maryland bridge is the pontic is typically not translucent, which basically means it can't reflect light in the same manner as your other teeth. Why does that matter? Because it's going to stand out from your other teeth. If you want a translucent pontic, it will cost significantly more.
Bridges won't last a lifetime. It's inevitable that you will need to replace them - sooner or later, you'll have to replace it with a new bridge. If you want a more permanent solution to a missing tooth, you'll need to get a dental implant. If you have a limited budget then you'll probably have to settle for a dental bridge as your solution.
You should only make health-related decisions based on information you receive directly from a doctor. In this case, you should speak with your local dentist. Give one a call today and schedule your initial consultation.
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