There are several reasons for a teeth gap, including genetics and tooth loss. Sadly, a gap in your teeth is embarrassing and makes you uncomfortable when smiling or talking to other people. Aside from lacking elegance and confidence, a missing tooth can put risks to your dental and oral health.
New versions of dental bridges are getting popular for replacing a missing tooth. Why would you choose to have a fixed bridge?
What Is a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge is among the many restorative options for a missing tooth, “bridging” the gap between the teeth. It is permanent, used for practical and aesthetic reasons, and allows you to speak and eat better while restoring your tooth’s appearance. Bridges are a better option for wide-tooth gaps than a dental crown procedure to fix cracked, uneven, weak, and crooked teeth. Zirconia tooth crown is the best type since it makes you feel and look natural for crown procedures.
Gold, alloy, and porcelain are the three types of dental bridge materials. Many prefer porcelain since it matches the natural color of human teeth. The dentist will put an artificial tooth (called pontic) very close in shape and size to your missing tooth. It often takes two visits to complete a dental bridge procedure.
An average dental bridge lasts anywhere between five to fifteen years. But with proper care, the lifespan can be up to 20 to 30 years. The cost depends on the type of bridge you need. Fortunately, your insurance can significantly reduce your expenses.
Advantages of Dental Bridges
- Restore your ability to speak normally since a missing tooth can impede proper pronunciation
- Bring back the natural look of your mouth and smile
- Restore your ability to chew food efficiently
- Prevent bone loss from the jaw where your tooth is missing to maintain your normal facial structure
- Help avoid biting problems and other complications by preventing the adjacent tooth to move into your tooth gaps
Important Reasons to Replace a Missing Tooth with Dental Bridges
Besides cosmetic reasons, choosing not to replace your missing tooth is not even an option. Instead, visit your dentist to discuss what best suits your needs. Here’s how a missing tooth can affect your dental health:
1. Your Face Could Change
The American Dental Association (ADA) notes that even a back tooth loss can cause your mouth to shift, potentially making you look older. Every aspect of your face is connected, so a lost tooth can result in bone deterioration and muscle drooping over time.
You may not avoid losing a tooth, but you can replace it to maintain your oral health. Plus, it ensures your face doesn’t change dramatically due to a missing tooth.
2. A Tooth May Shift and Loosen
If all your teeth are present, neatly aligned, they can keep each other stable and in line. Whereas missing even a single tooth can cause teeth shifting. They can drift out of place, causing bite changes and possible gum disease and tooth decay.
3. Temporomandibular Joints (TMJ) Disorder
TMJ are muscles on the side of your head that help you chew and rotate your jaw. If you don’t replace a missing tooth, it can lead to a TMJ disorder, causing you much pain. Your dentist can diagnose and treat this disorder, but prevention is always the best treatment.
4. It Can Affect Your Mental Health
You may ignore chewing problems for a short period, but it can become irritating in the long run. A missing tooth can even affect your speech patterns, resulting in low self-esteem. So, it’s better to temporarily endure getting used to having a new dental bridge rather than a permanent discomfort due to a missing tooth.