If you have lost a single tooth, you may not think that it is that big of a deal, especially if the tooth was lost from the back of your mouth. Losing even one tooth, however, can have a serious impact on your quality of life. At Oak Park Dental, we offer several options for replacing missing teeth, including a fixed bridge.
What Happens When You Lose a Tooth?There are several things that happen when you lose even just one tooth. First, depending upon the location of your missing tooth, your appearance is affected, which can also affect your confidence. Your ability to chew is affected. If you cannot properly chew your food, your body will not be able to access all of its nutrients. This can lead to malnutrition. A missing tooth can affect your speech, giving you a lisp. Finally, when you lose a tooth, your jawbone begins to weaken, altering the shape of your bone. This can cause your adjacent teeth to shift from their natural positions, moving into the space and throwing off your bite. If your bite is off, it can lead to issues such as bruxism, uneven tooth wear, jaw pain, and an increased risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease.
What is a Fixed Bridge?A fixed bridge is one of your options for restoring a missing tooth. This restoration can be used to replace up to three consecutive missing teeth. Usually made from ceramic, a fixed bridge consists of your false tooth (or teeth), known as a pontic tooth, set between two dental crowns. The crowns are meant to attach to your adjacent healthy teeth, which hold your bridge securely in place.
How is a Fixed Bridge Placed?Placing a fixed bridge is similar to the process of placing a dental crown. It takes two visits to complete. During your first visit, we prepare your abutment teeth (the ones that provide the anchor for your bridge). This process involves removing some of the enamel from each tooth, creating the space necessary for your bridge to fit naturally and comfortably in place. We then take an impression of your mouth, which is sent off to our lab. There, your bridge is designed and created.
It can take up to two weeks for your restoration to be complete. A temporary bridge will be placed in the meantime. When your final fixed bridge is ready, we will check it for fit and cement it into place.
Caring for Your Fixed BridgeCaring for your fixed bridge is no different from caring for the rest of your natural teeth. It is important to brush at least twice a day and floss every day. Even though ceramic cannot get cavities, it can still collect plaque and bacteria, which can lead to gum disease. You should also maintain regular dental visits at least twice a year. Along with these oral care habits, avoid biting down on, or chewing on, anything exceptionally hard and does not use your teeth (natural or bridge) to open packaging.
Benefits of a Fixed BridgeFixed bridges offer several benefits:
If you are missing a tooth, even if it’s toward the back of your mouth, getting it replaced as soon as possible is important. Call Oak Park Dental at (971) 600-0211 to learn more and find out if a fixed bridge is right for you.
Serving Salem Keizer Community since 1987
We provide dental services for the entire family from children to older adults. Our entire team of caring Doctors, hygienists and support staff pride ourselves on a high level of patient care.
Using the latest in modern dental technology our services range from sealants to complex implant surgery. Our goal is a comfortable experience for our patients with beautiful results.
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