Losing a tooth as an adult can result in a gap in your smile that you were not expecting. Losing multiple teeth may make for a larger gap. A dental bridge can literally bridge the gap in your smile. Not only can a bridge restore the appearance of your smile, but it can restore your abilities to chew, bite, and depending on the location of the restoration, speak. Missing teeth means diminished abilities in chewing, biting, and speaking. Missing multiple teeth means a larger diminishment in these abilities. Sometimes, a lack of the ability to chew on one side of the mouth results in overcompensation on the other side, which can increase the damage and ultimately risk your remaining teeth.
A dental bridge consists of a pontic, the replacement tooth or teeth that fill in the gap, and two crowns for the teeth surrounding the gap. The crowns sit on abutment teeth, which can be either healthy teeth or crowns covering dental implants. Dental implants allow for the bridge to be anchored by a position that was also missing a tooth. A bridge can have one to three pontics. If you are missing an entire ridge of teeth, they can be replaced as long as they sit next to each other. If your missing teeth are spread out, customized partial dentures may be a restorative option for your smile.
As stated above, a missing tooth can limit your abilities to chew, bite, and speak. It can also make a big impact on the appearance of your smile. A missing tooth can also lead to bone loss in your jaw, which can endanger the rest of the teeth in your mouth. A tooth stimulates the bone with the roots of the tooth. Without the stimulation, the bone begins to lose important minerals. The jaw bone will soften and change shape over time.
Talk to Dr. Carmona if you think a bridge is right for you. To schedule a consultation with Austin Prosthodontics in Austin, TX, call 512-250-9444. We also proudly welcome patients from Cedar Park, Round Rock, Pflugerville, Leander, and all surrounding Texas communities.