If you have lost one or more teeth, it’s important to get them replaced as soon as possible. If you don’t replace a missing tooth, then you are putting your other teeth at risk. When one tooth is lost, the other teeth lose the support and bracing they need. Teeth work together to bear the stress of chewing, and when one tooth is gone, the other teeth have to bear more force. Excess force leads teeth to chip or crack. And teeth can drift out of place if they aren’t braced by their neighbors. There are many options for replacing a missing tooth. Dental bridges are a good option because they bond to your teeth, making them highly stable. As a result, dentures give more attractive and more functional results than removable dentures. Dental bridges are almost as good as dental implants for replacing missing teeth.

If your are missing one or more teeth and want to learn whether dental bridges are right for you, Dr. Pamela Marzban can help. Please call  today for an appointment at her Burke, VA office.

Reasons for Tooth Loss

People lose teeth for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Age
  • Injury or trauma to tooth or teeth
  • Genetics
  • Tobacco use
  • Diabetes or other disease
  • Periodontal (gum) disease
  • Poor diet
  • Poor oral health
  • Teeth grinding

One of the solutions to missing teeth Dr. Marzban offers her Burke area patients is dental bridges.

What are Dental Bridges

There are three types of dental bridges:

  • Traditional dental bridges – The most common type of bridge, these have an artificial tooth (pontic) anchored to the neighboring teeth (abutment teeth) with metal wings. Each adjacent tooth is given a dental crown to support the bridge. It is also possible that people missing more than one tooth will have more than a single artificial tooth placed on the bridge.
  • Cantilever dental bridges – This type is used when there is only one adjacent tooth next to the missing tooth or teeth
  • Maryland bonded bridge – Plastic teeth and gums are supported by metal, and metal wings are placed on each side of the bridge and bonded to the existing teeth using resin.

The benefits of dental bridges include:

  • Repair your smile
  • Restore your bite function
  • Regain the ability to eat and speak properly
  • Keep existing teeth from drifting out of alignment
  • Replace a missing tooth without bone graft

Placing a dental bridge takes two visits. However, once Dr. Marzban places your dental bridge, no one will be able to tell you have had dental work performed as the color is matched to your natural teeth.

Limits of Dental Bridges

Although dental bridges are good tooth replacement options, they aren’t right for everyone. And there are some ways that they are not as good as dental implants.

When you lose a tooth, your body begins to remove the bone that used to support that tooth. Because a dental bridge doesn’t stimulate your jaw bone, it won’t stop that process. Over time, the bone loss under the bridge can become a cosmetic problem. It may even threaten neighboring teeth.

Dental bridges usually require the removal of tooth material from the teeth used to support it. Whenever we remove healthy tooth material, we make that tooth weaker. So we prefer not to use dental bridges when neighboring teeth are healthy.

There are also potential problems because dental bridges rely on your natural teeth for support. A dental bridge helps distribute force among your natural teeth, but it doesn’t replace the support that was lost when you lost a tooth. Sometimes, a dental bridge can put excess force on one or more of your natural teeth, leading to failure of those teeth. This is more common with cantilevered bridges, which is why Dr. Marzban uses them less often now that we have dental implants.

Maryland bridges are weaker than other bridges, so they’re not usually good choices for long-term use. But they make good temporary restorations as part of your dental implant process.

If you are interested in finding out more about dental bridges and are in the Burke, Virginia area, please call 703-323-8200 or email experienced cosmetic dentist Dr. Marzban to set up a consultation today.