Here come the holidays… complete with family gatherings and parties with friends and co-workers. It’s the time for joy, celebrating and happy smiles. Chances are, however, that if you are missing teeth, especially a front tooth, you aren’t much into smiling…regardless of the time of year.
And did you know that missing teeth tempt fate? It’s true. Gaps in your teeth set the stage for future dental problems. When you bite and chew you create energy. Your teeth transfer that energy down through your tooth into your jaw, stimulating the bone to regenerate itself and maintain a healthy mass. Without the stimulation from one or more teeth, the bone beneath the empty space begins to deteriorate and lose mass. A missing tooth also creates a space where the adjacent teeth try to move in and and fill it. When your teeth move, your bite and tooth alignment become a problem.
If you have a missing tooth or teeth, you have two options: implants or a bridge.
- A bridge spans the gap of your missing tooth. It requires healthy teeth on each side of the space (abutment teeth) to hold the replacement tooth (pontic) in place. The replacement tooth is made of porcelain or ceramic, to your unique dimensions, from impressions taken of your teeth.
- Caps (crowns) are placed onto the teeth on either side of the missing tooth and the replacement tooth sits between them, forming a bridge.
To prepare for a bridge, the abutment teeth have some of their enamel removed to make room for the caps. Impressions are taken of your mouth so that the bridge can be made. A second appointment is necessary to check the fit of the bridge and to ensure that your bite is correct.
When the fit is perfect, the caps are cemented onto the abutment teeth…and…the gap is bridged!
Of course, cavities can still form under the bridge, so it is important to practice good dental habits and follow Dr. Holbrook’s instructions for care and maintenance.
It’s the perfect time to smile! Call for an appointment, today: (505) 881-1159.