Our body is a amazing creation of nature. All the organ systems are so well planned and coordinated by an intricate network. Losing any one organ system will put our life off balance. Our digestive system is one such organ systems of the body and the oral cavity is an integral part of this beautiful machinery.
The jaws, other facial bones, muscles, the tongue and teeth are a part of your oral cavity. Any loss or damage to one of these structures affects its proper functioning. Missing teeth not only affects your chewing but can also affect speech, aesthetics and function of the TMJ. You can lose teeth because of different reasons. Replacing your missing teeth should be considered as a priority.
Here are 7 frequently asked questions on missing teeth and fixed bridges you should know.
Is it better to preserve my natural teeth?
Natural teeth are any day stronger, safer and biocompatible than artificial teeth. So, you have to practice meticulous oral hygiene habits to preserve your natural teeth. Brushing, flossing or using other interdental cleaning aids to maintain good dental health is important. Also, Visit your friendly dentist at the scheduled appointments. Your dentist will detect any early damage in your mouth. Treatment at the initial stages prevents further damage to your gums and teeth.
How can I replace missing teeth?
Your dentist will give you the option to replace missing teeth in the mouth with a removable or fixed prosthesis. A Removable prosthesis is one, which you can remove from the mouth for cleaning and put it back into the mouth. The fixed prosthesis is one that remains fixed in the mouth and cannot be removed by you. Fixed dentures are the bridges and implants.
What are teeth bridges?
Just as a bridge connects two sides of a water body, the tooth bridge connects two teeth to replace the missing teeth in-between them. Your dentist will trim the supporting teeth to make them smaller or mini versions of the tooth.The dentist will then make an impression of these miniature teeth. The lab technician fabricates the bridge by designing the structure of the teeth for the supporting and missing teeth. The dentist will then fix or cement the bridge in the mouth. Various materials like metal, ceramic or zirconia are used to prepare bridges.
Are bridges permanent?
Fixed prosthesis or ‘bridges’ as they are called, have a certain life span. They cannot be permanent and should be replaced after some time. The life span of your bridge depends on the material used to make the bridges. Generally, bridges made of ceramic or zirconium last well. However, proper care of the bridges in your mouth is the key to its longevity.
Do dental bridges damage my teeth?
A dental bridge is made by using supporting strong, healthy teeth to replace missing teeth. These supporting teeth are called “Abutments”. These teeth are trimmed and made smaller to make the bridge. Some tooth structure is removed in the process and this is a form of damage to a healthy tooth (Especially to the pulp with the nerves). You can develop sensitivity in the abutment tooth in the long run. Tooth decay under the bridge is also possible, if good oral hygiene is not maintained.
How many teeth can be in a bridge?
A tooth bridge is used to replace 1, 2, 3 or 4 missing teeth. Your dentist will make a bridge as long as a tooth support is available at either ends. Sometimes, an implant can be used to support a bridge. The front and/or back teeth can be replaced with bridges.
Is bridge better than a crown?
Dentists recommend a “Bridge” to replace a missing tooth. One or more missing teeth can be replaced with a bridge. A crown is advised for a single tooth for the following reasons
- Protect a Root canal treated tooth.
- When the tooth is fractured or broken.
- When a tooth is weakened by a large filling.
- As a covering for an implant.
If you have missing teeth, then talk to your dentist about the replacement options you have. But always remember that your saving natural teeth is better. And good oral hygiene practices are critical for healthy teeth.
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