Since some of the warning signs associated with oral cancer can be confused with other less serious dental problems, it is important for patients to learn more about the warning signs of oral cancer. Understanding the signs can help you determine whether or not the symptoms you are currently experiencing are indeed cancer-related. You can…
Replace Missing Teeth with Dental Bridges
Many dental patients are self-conscious about missing teeth. Depending on the exact teeth that have been lost, this condition can also make it difficult to chew food. In many cases, a dental bridge can be used to replace lost teeth and restore a patient's smile.
How do dental bridges work?
As the name suggests, a dental bridge uses an artificial tooth (called a "pontic") to bridge a gap in a patient's teeth. If pontics are not implanted into the jawbone, they need to connect to existing teeth.
Dental bridges connected to natural teeth
A traditional dental bridge connects the pontic to two dental crowns on either side of the gap. In this procedure, each tooth on either side of the gap is fitted with a dental crown, and the pontic is cemented to each crown. A simpler variant of the traditional bridge is the cantilever bridge, which connects a pontic to a single dental crown.
In some cases, a patient may prefer not to have the teeth on either side of a gap fitted with crowns. For these patients, a Maryland bridge may be a solution. A Maryland bridge also uses a pontic, but it is cemented to the natural teeth on either side of a dental gap. There is no need to fit these teeth with dental crowns, which simplifies the procedure.
For patients missing multiple teeth in a row, it is impossible to connect a pontic to two natural teeth. In these cases, implant-supported bridges may be advisable. For example, if a patient is missing three teeth in a row, the dental provider may place two implants and cement a pontic in the middle.
Getting implant-supported bridges tends to take longer than with other bridge types. Generally, an initial surgery places the implants, and the bridge is only placed after the implants have healed and successfully integrated with the jawbone. While the procedure takes more time, implant-supported bridges are usually considered to be the most stable and long-lasting bridge option available.
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Is a dental bridge or an implant a better solution?
While dental bridges can be an economical way to replace one or more missing teeth, they do have one important limitation: They usually need to be replaced after between five and 15 years. In younger patients, bridges may not be the first choice for tooth replacement. Some dental professionals may choose to go with a dental implant, which is a more permanent solution.
For patients who are unsure if they need a dental bridge or an implant, it is a good idea to speak with a dental professional. Dentists can talk through the benefits and drawbacks of each option and often will make a recommendation based on the individual patient's circumstances.
Missing teeth can cause problems in everyday life, but patients can consult a dental professional for guidance on their replacement. Thanks to advances in dental technology, dental bridge replacements often blend in with the rest of a patient's new smile.
There are many reasons that a dentist may require a patient to have a tooth extraction, particularly if the tooth causes problems with the patient’s oral health, function or appearance. After tooth extraction, you should be sure to follow all aftercare instructions provided by the dentist and understand what options are available to replace the…
A chipped tooth may seem minor, but it can actually lead to serious complications if it goes untreated. One's oral health can be at risk, as a chip in a tooth can result in excess food getting stuck, causing bacterial buildup. Additionally, a chipped tooth may have sharp edges that can put the soft tissues…