There are many dental problems that can negatively impact oral health and function, but perhaps none are more serious than adult tooth loss. Many people who have lost adult teeth are first bothered by the aesthetic effects that tooth loss has on the smile, but there are many health concerns to consider as well. Losing a tooth is like losing an important piece to a puzzle, the mouth is not complete without it.
The functions of the mouth are compromised, the structure of the jaw becomes at risk, and surrounding teeth are left without proper support. Dental bridges can replace lost teeth so that the mouth is once again complete, allowing patients to regain confidence and a full range of oral functions. Below we discuss which of our Reston patients are dental bridge candidates.
IS A DENTAL BRIDGE RIGHT FOR ME?
A dental bridge is a restorative treatment option that fills in gaps that have been left by missing teeth. While a dental bridge may fill in a gap of just a single tooth, or a larger gap of two or three consecutive teeth, in most cases a dental bridge is used when a patient is missing a small group of teeth from the same area of the mouth.
Traditionally, dental bridges are affixed to two dental crowns (one placed on the teeth on either side of the gap). However, if there is not a tooth on which a dental crown can be placed, dental bridges can be anchored by dental implants, which are surgically implanted to act as artificial tooth roots.
With these two techniques available, dental bridges can work for just about any patient who has a single tooth or small set of teeth to replace. Because the success of treatment is largely dependent on good oral health, dental bridges should only be placed in those patients with healthy teeth and gums. If any dental problems are present, they should be addressed before dental bridge treatment.
BENEFITS OF DENTAL BRIDGES
For those of our patients who are dental bridge candidates, the results of treatment are highly successful. Most patients find that, with a dental bridge in place, they benefit from the following advantages:
- Improved speech
- Greater comfort when chewing and eating
- Renewed confidence
Deciding whether a patient is an ideal candidate for a dental bridge is based largely on the number of teeth that have been lost. While a bridge can replace a single lost tooth, a dental crown that is supported by a dental implant is another option for treating the loss of one tooth. Similarly, while a bridge can replace a large group of teeth, if tooth loss is significant, Dr. Myles is more likely to recommend a full or partial set of dentures. These treatment options can be discussed at a consultation with Dr. Myles.
SCHEDULE A DENTAL EXAM TODAY
Tooth loss is not a problem to be ashamed of, but it is one that requires urgent attention. If you have experienced tooth loss, schedule an appointment to discuss your restorative treatment options. Dr. Wayne Myles can fill in gaps of missing teeth to create a smile that is beautiful and complete, while preserving the health and structure of the mouth. We look forward to hearing from you!