Filling in the gaps in your smile has obvious cosmetic advantages. However, if you are missing teeth, plaque and bacteria can make their homes on your gums, promoting gum disease and damage to your other teeth. Empty spaces allow your remaining teeth to drift out of alignment, and as a result, they may strike one another at odd angles which can lead to a loss of tooth enamel.
To combat these problems, you should work with your dentist to find the tooth replacement procedure that will work best for you. Dental implants have become very popular over the years since they are crafted to blend in with the rest of your smile, are very strong, and can be brushed and flossed in the same way as your natural teeth. However, some people do not have healthy gums or enough jawbone to support implants, and there are other medical conditions and medications that might mean implants will not work. Dentures may be uncomfortable to some people who do not want so much dental work in their mouths.
In such cases a dental bridge may work well. A bridge does not require the surgery needed for implants, nor does it have as many health requirements. There is not as much dental work needed for a bridge as dentures.
To place a bridge in your mouth, the dentist will first remove the enamel from the teeth on each end of the gap. These teeth will hold the crowns that will anchor your new bridge. The dentist will take impressions of the area which will be used to create your new bridge in a dental lab. When the bridge is ready, the dentist will fix it, and the permanent crowns and bridge, giving you a new smile. You will need to continue to brush and floss your bridge as you do your other teeth. Your crowns will depend on healthy gums to remain stable and support the them. If you find that you are having trouble reaching your crown with floss, try using a water flosser or a floss threader.
If you have missing teeth that need to be replaced, our dentist, Dr. Bruce Speake will be happy to meet with you for an exam, and to make a recommendation about which course of treatment will work best for you. While you may not be a candidate for implants, a dental bridge will also serve you well. If you would like to make an appointment at Bruce Speake DDS PA in Topeka, Kansas, call 785-267-6301 today. We’re excited about helping you restore your smile.