A dental bridge is a prosthetic device that we use to replace missing teeth. At Cooley Smiles, our goal is to educate, restore, and enhance the health of our patients, having a full set of functioning teeth is part of this mindset. Our Cooley Smiles dentists will perform a full dental examination, assessing your oral health, and may recommend a dental bridge as a treatment plan for you. Working together, we can help you maintain or achieve a healthy bite, improve your ability to chew, and have a beautiful smile.
What many patients may not realize is that missing teeth can lead to a variety of other dental problems. Your teeth should work harmoniously together, chewing evenly across your mouth, with your front teeth designed for biting, and your molars designed for masticating or chewing. When a patient loses a tooth, this harmonious process is broken. Frequent problems with missing teeth include:
|•||The patient may begin chewing more on the other side, or may avoid certain foods altogether.
|•||The patient may feel social anxiety or fear of appearing less attractive or even less professional in appearance.
|•||The patient may begin to experience neighboring teeth shifting to fill that spot, which will adjust their bite in an out of control way.
|•||With a bite readjusted, the patient is subject to TMJ disorder symptoms ranging from jaw discomfort to being unable to fully open or close their jaw and even migraines.|
Furthermore, having multiple missing teeth can alter the structure of your jaw. A missing tooth also means a missing root. The root transfers the chewing motion to your bone keeping the bone exercised and healthy. When the root is lost, that connection is broken. As bone begins to decrease in size from resorption, your face can become sunken and misshapen, often changing your appearance to look older.
How a Dental Bridge Works
A Dental bridge is a prosthetic device that can be customized for either your top or bottom arch. This device is designed to create a "bridge" over the gaps in your teeth. At Cooley Smiles, we regularly recommend this restoration for patients with missing teeth who are not ideal candidates for dental implants or to work in tandem with implants for multiple missing teeth. This system uses two healthy teeth, or implants, that will serve as anchor teeth. The device uses two dental crowns that fit over the anchor teeth. They will support the bridge of a false tooth between. Unlike implants, this false tooth will not have a root or base, it relies on the strength of its anchors. Patients will still experience some bone atrophy, but the facial structure is supported, your neighboring teeth will not shift, thus protecting your bite, and your chewing function is restored.
If you would like more information on dental bridges, and how they can improve your oral health, contact us at Cooley Smiles. Our front office staff is happy to answer your questions and assist you in scheduling an appointment. Call us today at (425) 998-6998.