A gap-toothed smile may be a great addition to your Halloween costume this year but in reality, missing teeth, especially front teeth, are nothing to smile about.
If you are living with a single missing tooth or multiple missing teeth, you may be tempting fate and setting the stage for future dental problems. Here’s why:
- A missing tooth creates a gap in your teeth which causes the adjacent teeth to slide into the space to try and fill it. When teeth move, your overall bite and tooth alignment becomes a problem.
- The force of biting and chewing creates energy. Your teeth transfer that energy downward through the tooth into the jawbone. This energy stimulates the jawbone to regenerate itself and maintain a healthy bone mass. Without the stimulation from one or more teeth, the jawbone beneath the empty space begins to deteriorate and lose mass.
If you have a missing tooth or teeth, you have two replacement options: dental implants or a dental bridge.
What is a dental bridge?
A dental 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. At Morris County Dental, Dr. Goldberg places caps (crowns) onto the teeth on either side of a missing tooth and hangs the replacement tooth from those crowns with a bridge.
Replacement teeth are usually made of porcelain or ceramic and are fabricated at a dental lab to your specific dimensions as gauged from impressions taken of your teeth.
To prepare for a bridge, the abutment teeth have some of their enamel and dentin removed to make room for the crown. Impressions are taken of your mouth so that the bridge may be fabricated. A second appointment with Dr. Goldberg is necessary to check the fit of the bridge. When the fit is perfect, the crowns are cemented onto the abutment teeth and you have a full set of teeth once again.
- Tip: Cavities can still form underneath a crown or a bridge, so it is essential to practice good dental habits and follow Dr. Goldberg’s instructions in care and maintenance.
Let us help you “mind the gaps” in your teeth…call for an appointment, today!