Modern dental practices now give you so many options to improve your smile, maintain your best oral health and ensure that you keep more of your natural teeth as you age. One of the most popular and practical solutions for replacing missing teeth is a dental bridge. Once installed, it’s painless, effortless to clean and completely natural-looking! The process doesn’t take long, and you end up with a full set of teeth no one else can notice. It looks as if you’ve got all your original teeth.
When you smile, your whole face lights up, and you look happy. But if you’re missing teeth, smiling may be an emotionally painful experience. Gaps in your smile can cause embarrassment, lack of confidence and difficulty chewing. You’re not alone; about 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth, according to the American College of Prosthodontists.
A dental bridge fills the gaps and restores your smile, as well as your health and well-being. Comparing a dental bridge vs. implant offers insight into your decision process. But which dental treatment that’s suitable for your needs requires the expertise of dentists such as those you find at Albany County Dental Associates.
Tooth Loss Impact
Losing a tooth is serious, especially if you don’t do any reconstructive treatment. The remaining teeth surrounding the space of the lost tooth tend to shift or tilt over time, according to the American Dental Association. The teeth on the opposite jaw also shift, either up or down, toward the empty space. All this contributes to a change in your bite, your smile and the alignment of your teeth. It eventually changes your facial features and appearance.
The shift also puts additional stress on your teeth and jaw joints, which can start hurting. You risk speech impairment, along with a greater chance of getting tooth decay and periodontal disease. Make an appointment with your New York State dentist when you lose a tooth. The benefits of replacing missing teeth far outweigh your dental bridge cost.
Dental Bridge vs. Implant Debate
Dental implants are set into your jaw bone via surgery. These titanium implants act as the tooth root on which a crown fits. But this all depends on the condition of your teeth, gums and bones. You may need a gum graft or bone graft, which require months of recovery.
Dental bridges don’t involve surgery and take fewer treatment sessions than implants. Also, the dental bridge cost is much less than the implant cost. But regarding the debate on which one lasts longer — dental bridge vs. implants — implants win hands down.
Why Choose a Dental Bridge?
Dental bridges are safe and easy to wear. They offer the fastest way to replace a lost tooth. A dental bridge consists of three parts:
- The bridge itself
- A synthetic tooth for the empty space
- Crowns on the adjacent teeth
Bridges come in different materials: porcelain, ceramic and sometimes metal. Bridges fit so comfortably that you won’t even remember you have them, reports the Mayo Clinic. Your Albany County dentist matches your tooth color so it’s virtually invisible in your mouth. And you won’t have to remove it as you do with dentures.
Dental bridges come in several forms, depending on the location of your missing teeth. You can opt for conventional fixed, cantilever or resin-bonded bridge treatments. These options give you a permanent solution to missing teeth. Barring accidents, a dental bridge can last for many years.
How a Dental Bridge Works
It all starts with a complete dental checkup from your family dentist. The next step is fitting the adjacent or abutment teeth with sturdy crowns. After that, the dentist takes an impression of your mouth to make the bridge, artificial teeth and crowns.
The permanent bridge is glued to the teeth and shaped accordingly. You might need several dentist visits to make sure the bridge feels comfortable. And how long does a dental bridge last? You don’t have to worry for decades, as long as you maintain your daily oral habits to keep your gums healthy.
Taking Care of Your Bridge
In the beginning, you may need to eat soft food to aid the healing process. Keep sugary and sticky food to a minimum because there’s less enamel on the abutment teeth due to the bridge, increasing the chance of tooth decay. Rely on the best dentist in New York State to advise you on maintaining that great new smile and keeping you in peak health.
You have to take good care of your bridge. Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing are very important. Your dentist from Albany County shows you how to use a special floss threader to clean underneath the bridge to prevent gun disease. You also need to floss around the bridge and in between the crowns and false tooth. Finally, keep up your regular dental checkups.