The importance of replacing missing teeth cannot be overstated. Each of your teeth has a specific function. When one tooth is lost, the other teeth begin to sustain this loss by shifting. This shifting can lead to a misaligned bite, also called malocclusion. Malocclusion can cause a patient to develop TMJ disorder, leading to chronic pain and jaw dysfunction. Missing teeth can also cause excessive tooth wear on remaining teeth, because those teeth are working harder when chewing food.
While missing teeth should be replaced quickly, there are a number of considerations to take into account when replacing a missing tooth. Your Lake Forest cosmetic dentist offers several prosthetic restoration options, but the choice depends on the number and placement of missing teeth.
Dental Bridge vs. Dental Implant
We offer fixed dental bridges to restore your smile and oral health. A fixed bridge fills the gap left by two or more adjoined missing teeth. The bridge is permanently anchored to porcelain crowns, which are bonded to the teeth on either side of the gap to provide stability. A dental bridge may be the right option for you, depending on your individual circumstances. Here are a few things to consider:
- Because a bridge successfully fills the gap left by missing teeth, your teeth are less likely to shift. This prevents complications with your bite. Bridges also restore your ability to chew efficiently and smile confidently.
- Bridges look natural and blend seamlessly with your existing teeth. We offer all-porcelain and porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) bridges to help ensure your bridge replicates the translucency and color of your other teeth. We also offer butt-joint margins to hide the dreaded black gumline that sometimes occurs with PFM bridges.
- Bridges can be a less expensive option than dental implants.
- With proper care and good oral hygiene, a bridge can last up to 15 years or more.
On the other hand:
- We must remove a significant amount of healthy tooth from the abutment teeth, or teeth surrounding the gap left by a missing tooth, when installing a bridge. This is to install the two crowns, one on either side of the gap, which will suspend your artificial teeth. Those two crowns provide the stability required to sustain a fixed bridge appliance.
- If tooth decay, or any other problem, occurs in either of the crowned abutment tooth, your entire bridge may require replacement.
- Unlike dental implants, a bridge does not replace the roots of a missing tooth. This can lead to bone loss and other complications.
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Dr Fondriest is a Nationally recognized and highly sought after cosmetic dentist serving clients from throughout the United States