Beyond oral aesthetics, there’s a psychological aspect to having one or more missing teeth. A smile is one of the most defining aspects of every individual no doubt, and whatever affects its free and open expression also affects an individual’s social and psychological health.
If you have lost a tooth to dental trauma or gum disease, you’re prone to even more tooth loss if it is not replaced. With time, spaces in your teeth cause adjacent teeth to start shifting and could lead to additional tooth loss.
Tooth loss has many functional, aesthetic, and psychological disadvantages. But cosmetic dental procedures with dental bridges will help you restore your dental health and appearance. Read on to know more about these replacements for natural teeth and their benefits.
What Are Dental Bridges?
Dental bridges are fixed dental restoration procedures for replacing missing teeth. Beyond just dental aesthetics, they help individuals restore functionality to their smiles by enabling them to eat their favorite foods and even speak better. They come in four main types, traditional bridges, cantilever bridges, Maryland bridges, and implant-supported bridges.
What to Expect During a Dental Bridge Procedure
A dental bridge procedure is very simple and only minimally invasive. It usually begins with an initial assessment to determine if a dental bridge is the best restorative procedure for a missing tooth. This is followed by the preparation of the abutment teeth, which involves making impressions of your teeth for the construction of a bridge that looks just like your natural teeth. A temporary bridge may be used during the waiting period to protect the shaped teeth from getting damaged.
As soon as the bridge is ready, small incisions are made under the influence of a local anesthetic. The local anesthetic helps to improve your comfort when the bridge is fixed in place on the abutment teeth.
The placement of the bridge usually depends on the strength of the adjacent teeth, so on some occasions, an implant may be needed to support the bridge. This is then followed by adjustments and follow-ups to ensure the bridge fits perfectly and comfortably.
Benefits of Dental Bridges
Just as the name suggests, dental bridges bridge the gap between two teeth. But they do more than just that. Here are many other benefits of dental bridges.
Enhance Your Smile
When you lose a tooth, the underlying bone begins to deteriorate, so you slowly lose that bone support beneath. This causes progressive jaw loss that affects the shape of your face. The face begins to look sunken, shorter, and older. This affects a person’s smile and makes one look older than one’s actual age due to tooth loss-induced facial collapse. A dental bridge helps restore your smile by restoring the shape of your face by naturally replacing the missing teeth.
Restore Your Chewing
A dental gap makes you lose your bite force. Also, if you try to force the remaining teeth to produce the needed force needed for certain types of food you stand a chance of losing one or more of the remaining teeth. Dental bridges help you restore your bite force so you can eat your favorite meals again.
Improve Your Speech
Speech is mostly about sounds, and forming good speech depends heavily on the placement of our teeth within our mouth and around our lips and tongue and the incoming airflow from the voice box.
Hence, teeth are very important for making proper sounds, and anything that affects it affects speech production. It is no surprise that people who have one or more missing teeth appear to pronounce certain words with a mumbling sound. Hence, it is important to replace missing teeth for better speech, and this is possible with a dental bridge.
Preserve Your Face’s Natural Shape
The teeth form good facial support that is vital to our appearance. So, when you lose a tooth, the look of your face may change. This is due to bone loss from lack of support from the space holding the missing tooth. The face then starts sagging, collapsing, and could even result in a countenance that affects its expression, and ultimately, its natural attraction. As much as dental bridges offer cosmetic restorations in terms of aesthetics, they also enhance your appearance by stimulating bone regrowth and restoring your face’s natural shape and look.
Prevent Adjacent Teeth from Shifting
When a missing tooth is left unreplaced, adjacent teeth start collapsing into the gap. This increases not just the chance of missing more teeth but possible tooth decay. To avoid further tooth loss, a false tooth, such as a dental bridge that looks and functions much like a natural tooth, is necessary.
How to Care for Your Dental Bridge
Once you’ve replaced a missing tooth with a dental bridge, don’t skip the oral care routine. Continue to brush and floss in between your teeth regularly. Also, clean underneath your bridge with floss to remove any trapped food particles. When you brush, do so with a fluoride-based toothpaste, ensure to eat dental-friendly foods, and follow up regularly with your dentist.