If you have lost one or more of your natural teeth, then you may need treatment. Otherwise, serious complications could begin to arise that impact everything from your ability to eat to your facial structure. To address more minor cases, your Ankeny, IA, dentist may craft a dental bridge. In today’s blog, we’re going to look at how we support them with dental implant technology.
The Dangers of Minor Tooth Loss
People may think of a losing a single tooth as an embarrassing issue, but not necessarily one that impacts overall health. But once we lose a tooth, this could allow surrounding ones to shift from position, causing misalignment. The resulting crooked, crowded, or overlapping teeth could mean an increased risk of tooth decay and gum disease. A gap in your smile could also upset bite balance and strain the jaw joints, leading to a higher likelihood of complications like TMJ disorder and bruxism (chronic teeth grinding), oral health issues liked to jaw pain, headaches, and in some cases, damaged teeth. Finally, the body will notice the lost roots and respond by cutting off the flow of calcium and phosphorus to the jawbone, leading to a breakdown of mass and density and leading to further tooth loss.
Creating a Dental Bridge
A dental bridge helps bridge the gap in your smile. We create them based on detailed impressions gathered of your smile, which we use to design the prosthetic. The bridge itself will contain one or more pontics or new teeth, with crowns attached to each end. We often craft them from materials like ceramic, which can not only be tinted to blend with your smile, but also absorb daily bite forces and provide a durable chewing surface.
Abutment Teeth vs. Dental Implants
We have two options available. The most common are held in place with abutment teeth. We remove structure from the natural teeth on either side of the gap in your smile, and the crowns will be placed on them. However, since the jaw ridge will change shape due to loss of mass and density in the jawbone, they need replacement every ten years or so.
But if we secure them with dental implants, which we insert into the jawbone, this causes the body to resume the flow of nutrients, preventing the breakdown of jawbone tissue. The smile doesn’t suffer further tooth loss, and we attach the crowns to the free-standing implants, not natural teeth, preserving more of your smile in the process.
Do You Have Questions About Prosthetic Dentistry?
Our team is ready to help you obtain a full and beautiful smile with our custom and lifelike dental bridges. To learn more about treating missing teeth, then please schedule an appointment by calling Peddicord Family Dentistry in Ankeny, IA, today at (515) 963-3339. We also proudly serve patients of all ages who live in Bondurant, Polk City, and all surrounding communities.