No one wants to walk around with missing teeth. If you have a dental problem that alters how your teeth function or the look of your smile, then you may be self-conscious and not smile as much. At times, the only option for relieving any dental pain is to have a tooth removed. However, this leaves you with a gaping hole or gap in your mouth where your tooth used to be.
REASONS FOR TOOTH LOSS
Even with regular dental check-ups and daily flossing and brushing, there can be a number of reasons why you experience tooth loss. These can include:
- Nutrition – poor diet
- Trauma or tooth injury
- Diabetes or a systemic disease
- The Aging Process
- Grinding or clenching your teeth
- Persistent tobacco usage
Our professionally licensed and highly trained Arlington cosmetic dentists offer all the dental bridges options to correct any tooth loss you may have experienced or answer any cosmetic dentistry questions you may have. Correcting gaps between your teeth slows tooth shifting, can prevent loss of jaw bone and loss of tooth function, in addition to creating an appealing smile.
With proper oral hygiene habits, regular dental check-ups and excellent maintenance, dental bridges can last for more than ten years. With proper and comfortable fitting, your dental bridges will not interfere with your ability to speak clearly or your bite.
TYPES OF DENTAL BRIDGES
Our Arlington cosmetic dentist can work with you to create your natural, healthy smile with dental bridges. There are three different types of dental bridges:
- Cantilever Bridge – Recommended for missing front teeth.
- Resin-bonded Type – With this particular dental bridge treatment, the pontic (false tooth) is fused to metal bands which are bonded to the abutment teeth with resin.
- Traditional Fixed – This type of dental bridge is not removable as it is held in place with porcelain crowns.
DENTAL BRIDGES PROCEDURE
No matter which type of bridge treatment you require, our Arlington cosmetic dentist will begin by giving you a local anesthetic to numb the affected area. Then, an impression of your teeth will be taken to the dental laboratory where the pontic, bridge, and crowns will be crafted. While you are undergoing this process, you will receive a temporary bridge to protect your exposed teeth and gums.
HOW LONG DOES THE DENTAL BRIDGE PROCEDURE TAKE?
The dental bridge process will take several weeks to complete and will require at least two office visits: one to prepare the teeth to receive the dental bridge and one to permanently cement the new dental bridge. If there are any problems with the fit or look of the dental bridge, additional office visits may be necessary.
ADVANTAGES OF DENTAL BRIDGES
Alexandria dental bridges have been used for years to restore smiles by eliminating embarrassing empty gaps. With the use of all-porcelain dental crowns in this procedure, your smile can look even more natural and aesthetically pleasing. Above and beyond the physical benefits of this procedure, there are also other advantages including:
- Allowing you to speak and chew properly.
- Preventing the eventual shifting of the teeth surrounding the gap, which can lead to a malaligned bite.
- Keeping your bite forces equally distributed throughout your mouth to prevent Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD).
DISADVANTAGES OF DENTAL BRIDGES
Traditional dental bridges in Alexandria must rely on the teeth adjacent to the empty gap to act as anchors for the replacement tooth. These teeth must be prepared to receive a dental crown, which means a small amount of tooth enamel is removed from the healthy teeth so the anchor crowns can be properly fitted to avoid future complications.
Even though the anchor teeth are crowned, they are still subject to tooth decay and gum disease, which can lead to the need for dental bridge replacement.
Because the replacement tooth does not stimulate the underlying jaw bone, there is a risk of jaw bone shrinkage, again causing complications with the surrounding healthy teeth.
HOW LONG DO DENTAL BRIDGES LAST?
The average lifespan of a dental bridge is seven to 15 years. Unlike a dental implant, which is a permanent tooth replacement and artificial tooth root replacement, a dental bridge will most likely need to be replaced.
If you live in the Northern Virginia area and have lost a tooth, please contact the experienced McLean general dentists at Galleria Dental Aesthetics to have your smile evaluated. Call the practice today at 703.448.1020 to see if you are a good candidate dental bridges or an alternative tooth replacement procedure.