Following tooth loss, the health and function of your smile could experience a sharp decline, with complications developing with time. To prevent this, we suggest replacing missing teeth quickly. In today’s blog, your Astoria, NY, dentist looks at two different options to address more minor cases of tooth loss using dental bridges.
The Causes of Missing Teeth
Why do we lose any of our natural teeth in the first place? For some, tooth loss could be linked to an accidental injury. Others may lose a tooth to severe tooth decay or infection. However, the most common reason is simply gum disease. Unless treated, periodontal disease progresses with time and eventually reaches the periodontitis stage. The tissues connecting the teeth and gums will be severed, which leads to tooth loss. Once you lose one or more teeth however, you could be at risk of major complications, including misalignment, trouble eating or speaking, or changes to the facial structure.
Dental Bridges and Crowns
A bridge helps replace between one and three lost teeth in a row typically. The prosthetic contains new teeth, which we refer to as pontics, with crowns attached to each end. With the traditional version, we place the crowns onto the natural teeth on each side of the gap. This option tends to last between 10 and 15 years, requiring replacement as the ridge of the jaw changes shape. We always take steps to ensure the prosthetic is custom-made and fits comfortably, which preserves your bite’s balance. The materials we use can also be tinted to blend with the rest of the smile, and also absorb daily bite forces so you can continue to eat your favorite foods!
For more stability, we could also secure them with dental implants. The prosthetic itself will again contain pontics and crowns, but instead of removing structure from natural teeth and attaching crowns to them, we rest the crowns onto dental implants. These free-standing titanium posts act as new roots, which stimulates the growth of jawbone tissue and prevents changes to the ridge shape. As a result, your new prosthetic could last decades, possibly even a lifetime. If you have any questions about either of our tooth replacement options, or if you find yourself with one or more missing teeth, then let us know. In addition, since gum disease is linked to missing teeth, be sure to let us know if you notice your gingival tissues look red, feel sore, or bleed easily.
Do You Have Questions About Restoring Your Lost Teeth?
We know a full smile is key to better oral health, so we have custom dental prosthetics to help. To learn more about replacing lost teeth, then schedule a consultation by calling Jeffrey Leibowitz, DDS, in Astoria, NY, today at 718-728-8320.