Replaced 2 front teeth with a 4-unit dental bridge.
A dental bridge is a fixed prosthesis that is used to replace one or more missing tooth by closing the gap between teeth. A bridge is essentially three or more crowns that are connected to one another. Bridges attach to your natural teeth on either side and fill in the gap created by your missing tooth. Placing a bridge requires your dentist to shave the two teeth in front and behind the missing gap. Teeth which are used as anchors for a bridge are known as abutments and the missing tooth is known as a pontic. You need to have at least one tooth in front and one behind the missing gap in order to place a bridge. If you’re missing a terminal tooth then placing a bridge is no longer an option. Schedule a consultation with a dentist near you to learn more about bridges and to see if you are a good candidate.
What are the benefits of a bridge?
Placing a bridge is one way to replace one or more missing tooth with a fixed restoration. You shouldn’t ignore gaps created by your missing teeth. Neglecting to replace a missing tooth can lead to problems affecting your whole mouth. Here are some of the consequences of losing your teeth:
Once you lose a tooth, you’re left with a large gap in your mouth. Whenever there is a gap in your mouth, your remaining teeth slowly start drifting into this space. As a result, the tooth in front, behind, and opposing the gap, all start moving into this missing space. Eventually, this could completely mess up your bite. Having a poor bite relationship leads to tooth fracture, failure of dental restorations, headaches, and other dental and facial problems.
Increased risk of cavities and gum disease
Having a missing tooth makes it harder to clean that area. Most people find it very difficult to clean teeth neighboring a gap. As a result, you’re more likely to develop cavities or infection on these teeth. This also increases the likelihood of developing bone loss as a result of food trap and teeth shifting. Consequently, one missing tooth could cause you to end up losing more and more teeth over the years!
Damage to your remaining teeth
Many of you think that losing one tooth is not that big of a deal. After all, we have 28 adult teeth, so how important could one tooth be? The problem is, every time you lose a tooth, you’re increasing the stress exerted onto your remaining teeth. This added stress increases the chances of your remaining teeth cracking and breaking. The more teeth that you lose, the more you stress you exert onto your remaining teeth. Eventually, this causes an avalanche effect and causes you to lose more and more teeth, sometimes even all of your teeth! This is why it’s always best to replace your missing teeth to protect your mouth. By placing a bridge to replace your missing tooth, you can prevent your remaining teeth from shifting. This makes it easier to maintain proper hygiene, protects your bite, and supports your remaining teeth.
Is bridge a better option than a denture?
A bridge is secured onto two adjacent teeth to close a gap in your mouth.
A dental implant is placed into your jawbone and does not involve adjacent teeth.
There are three options to replacing a missing tooth. One is a bridge, the other one is a dental implant, and the last one is a denture. Typically, a dental bridge is preferred to dentures, especially when you’re missing one or two teeth. Here are a few reasons why bridges are typically preferred over dentures:
Bridges are fixed in your mouth, whereas dentures come in and out. This makes dentures much more difficult to wear.
With bridges you get excellent chewing capacity, whereas dentures only give you about 25 to 40% chewing capacity as compared to natural teeth.
Bridges feel like your own teeth but wearing dentures can be awkward and quite uncomfortable at times.
Is a bridge a better option than a dental implant?
In most cases, dental implants are a better option than bridges. There are several reasons why we usually recommend going with dental implants in place of a bridge, such as:
Dental implants don’t damage your adjacent teeth. On the other hand, placing a bridge requires shaving of at least two teeth. Shaving these teeth could lead to problems such as cavities or infection. It’s not uncommon to require a root canal or lose one of your supporting teeth should your bridge fail down the line.
Dental implants are much easier to clean as compared to bridges. You clean dental implants like your other natural teeth. On the other hand, cleaning underneath a bridge can be quite challenging and it requires special instruments. Occasionally, you simply can’t clean this area and end up with a constant food trap under your bridge.
Many times placing a bridge is not even an option and your only option is to place a dental implant. In order to place a bridge, you need to have at least one healthy tooth on each side of the gap. If you’re missing a terminal tooth or missing several teeth next to each other, then you can;t place a bridge in this area.
This is not to say that you should never place a bridge on your teeth. In fact, there are some cases where placing a bridge makes more sense than a dental implant. Here are some examples of situations where a bridge is more practical than a dental implant:
Full mouth rehabilitation
Oftentimes, during full mouth rehabilitation, a bridge is placed instead of a dental implant. If the teeth adjacent to a missing gap require new crowns, then placing a bridge makes more sense than going for a dental implant. After all, the point of avoiding a bridge is not to shave your adjacent teeth. However, if these teeth already require a crown, then why not just convert them into a bridge? This will save you time and money without adversely affecting your remaining teeth.
Sometimes there simply is not enough bone to place a dental implant. You may have to perform extensive bone grafting to restore your jawbone in anticipation of a dental implant. Not everyone wants to go through this. In these cases, it might make sense to place a bridge instead of a dental implant. Plus, you could have your bridge in a few weeks, whereas dental implants always take months, sometimes even years, to complete your treatment.
Too small of a gap
Sometimes the gap between two teeth is too narrow to place a dental implant. You need a minimum of 7 millimetres of bone to successfully place a dental implant. If there’s not enough space to place a dental implant, then a bridge might be your only option. Of course, that may not be entirely true… You can get braces or wear clear aligners to open up the gap, then place a dental implant into this space. Again, not everyone wants to go through all of this. Placing a bridge can close small gaps without the need for braces, bone grafting, and other complex treatments.
Crown and bridge treatment in San Clemente, Orange County
If you’re missing teeth, whether it’s one tooth or all of your teeth, we can help! Give us a call today at (949)481-2540 or book your appointment online today. We offer all sorts of solutions for your missing teeth, including dental bridges, dentures, and dental implants. Our dentist, Dr. Jazayeri, will work with you to determine the best course of treatment for your smile. We will present pros and cons of different treatment options so you understand what each one offers and decide which is the best option for you. Give us a call today to see how easy fixing your missing teeth can be. The longer you wait, the more your teeth move, and the more difficult it becomes to fix your dental condition.
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A pus pocket containing harmful bacteria that forms around infected teeth. Teeth with abscess are considered infected and they either need root canal treatment or must be extracted.
Amalgam (silver filling)
Material used to fill dental cavities. Amalgam is silver colored and contains Mercury. As a filling material, Amalgam is durable and effective. However, there are some concerns about the safety of using Mercury to restore teeth.
Refer to premolar tooth please.
Canine tooth (cuspid or eye tooth)
A strong, pointed tooth with a single cusp used to direct other teeth as we chew side-to-side. Canine teeth are very strong and typically outlast all other teeth as we age. We have 4 total canines, teeth numbers: 6, 11, 22 and 27.
A hole inside a tooth created by harmful cavity bugs. Dental cavities can cause slight tooth sensitivity, particularly to cold and sweets. They can also be asymptomatic. If left untreated, dental cavities infiltrate the tooth pulp and cause abscess and infection.
Composite resin (white filling)
Material used to fill dental cavities and broken teeth. Composite resin is safe, effective and matches your tooth color. Cosmetic dentists prefer using composite resins to other filling restoration material due to their natural appearance.
A large restoration that replaces the majority of your tooth structure above the gum line. Crowns are used to fix teeth which can no longer be salvaged with a simple filling. Crowns are typically made from gold, porcelain-fused-to-metal or ceramic material.
Refer to cavity please.
Deep cleaning (scaling & root planning)
A type of dental cleaning which focuses on removing plaque and tartar underneath your gum line. Deep cleanings are used to treat gum disease. Most deep cleanings are performed in multiple sessions and often times require anesthesia.
Teeth cleaning performed by your dentist or hygienist. Dental cleaning focuses on removing plaque and tartar which can’t be removed by brushing or flossing alone. Dental cleanings are categorized as simple cleaning or deep cleaning.
The middle portion of your tooth which is located above the pulp and underneath the enamel. Unlike enamel, dentin has nerve endings which makes it sensitive to tooth decay.
Removable, false teeth used to replace your missing natural teeth. Dentures are made from pink and white acrylic. The pink portion secures your dentures in place and the white segment replaces your missing teeth. There are many different types of dentures including full dentures and partial dentures.
The very hard outer portion of your tooth. In fact, enamel is the hardest tissue found in our bodies. Enamel protects your tooth from cavities and provides it with the strength to cut and chew food.
Material used by dentists to replace missing tooth structure. Fillings are used to fix dental cavities and broken teeth. Fillings are made from gold (mostly obsolete), Amalgam (silver filling) or composite resin (white filling).
Full Denture (Complete denture)
A set of false teeth which replaces all of your teeth in one arch. Full dentures are held in place by the suction they provide against your gum tissue. Full dentures are typically made from pink and white acrylic.
The earlier stage of gum disease. Gingivitis is characterized by bleeding gums, bad breath and minor tooth sensitivity. If left untreated, gingivitis progresses to the more advanced stage of gum disease known as periodontitis.
Gum Disease (Periodontal disease)
Disease of the gums and jaw bone. Gum disease is caused by spread of harmful bacteria to your gum and jaw bone. Gum disease causes bleeding gums, bone loss and tooth loss. Gum disease is categorized as gingivitis and periodontitis.
A tooth which is trapped underneath your jaw bone. Impacted tooth typically refers to wisdom teeth, although other teeth can also be impacted. Impacted wisdom teeth usually need to be removed. Other impacted teeth need to be removed, monitored or uprighted by your orthodontist.
The front most four teeth in your upper and lower jaw. Incisor teeth are used to cut food particles. We have 8 total incisors, teeth numbers: 7, 8, 9, 10, 23, 24, 25 and 26.
Spread of harmful bacteria into your tooth nerve. Once cavity bugs reach your tooth nerve, the tooth is now infected. Infected teeth can only be fixed with a root canal or you must remove the tooth completely.
A type of crown which is a hybrid between fillings and crowns. Inlays are essentially conservative crowns which protect teeth similar to a crown but are conservative similar to a filling. Inlays are smaller than onlays and do not encompass your outer tooth walls.
Teeth located in the back of our mouth which have four cusps. Molar teeth are large and used to crush food particles. We have 8 total molars, teeth numbers: 2, 3, 14, 15, 18, 19, 30 and 31. Additionally, some of us have 3rd molars or wisdom teeth which are teeth numbers: 1, 16, 17 and 32.
Refer to pulp please.
A device worn at nights to protect your teeth against grinding. Night guards help reduce tooth fracture, TMJ pain and headaches. There are two types of night guards, generic night guards which you purchase online or from a local pharmacy and custom night guards which your dentist makes for you.
A type of crown which is a hybrid between fillings and crowns. Onlays are essentially conservative crowns which protect teeth similar to a crown but are conservative similar to a filling. Onlays are larger than inlays and encompass at least one or more of your outer tooth walls.
A set of false teeth which replaces some, but not all, of your missing teeth. Partial dentures are held in place by anchoring to your remaining teeth as well as suction against your gum tissue. Partial dentures can be made from different material including metals, acrylic and flexible resin.
Refer to gum disease please.
The more advanced stage of gum disease. Periodontitis is characterized by bone loss, major tooth sensitivity and loose teeth. If left untreated, periodontitis causes your teeth to loosen and fall out. Plus, the resulting infection can spread to the rest of your body and affect your overall health.
Premolar tooth (bicsupid)
Transitional teeth between our front and molar teeth. Premolars have two cusps and are used to crush food particles. They are also the teeth most commonly removed for braces treatment. We have 8 total bisupids, teeth numbers: 4, 5, 12, 13, 20, 21, 28 and 29.
The innermost tooth layer which lies underneath your dentin. Your tooth pulp contains nerves and blood vessels. When your tooth pulp becomes damaged this results in a toothache. Once this happens, you require a root canal treatment or must remove the tooth.
Pulpotomy is the equivalent of a baby root canal. It entails removing the nerve structure from infected baby teeth. Performing a pulpotomy eliminates toothache while allowing your child to keep the tooth itself in order to prevent potential orthodontic complications.
Root canal treatment
A procedure to remove infected tooth nerve to eliminate pain and infection. During root canal treatment your dentist will disinfect your tooth and replace the missing nerve with sterile material known as Gutta Percha. Root canal treatment eliminates pain and infection and allows you to keep the tooth.
Scaling & root planning
Refer to deep cleaning please.
A preventive treatment used to protect children’s teeth. Dental sealants are placed on teeth with deep groves, typically molars, to protect them against tooth decay and infection. Sealants are very effective and safe and do not require any tooth structure removal.
Techniques used to calm patients with anxiety during dental treatment. There are many different sedation techniques in dentistry such as Nitrous Oxide, oral conscious sedation, IV sedation and general anesthesia.
Refer to Amalgam please.
A dental cleaning performed in absence of gum disease. Simple cleanings typically entail basic tooth scraping and polishing, occasionally with Fluoride treatment. Most people require a simple cleaning once every 6 months, although if you’re suffering from gum disease you need one every 3 to 4 months.
Refer to wisdom tooth please.
Refer to composite resin please.
Wisdom tooth (third molar)
Tooth which is located all the way in the back of your mouth. Wisdom teeth start erupting in your late teens or twenties. Not everyone has wisdom teeth. For those that do, there’s a high probability that you have to remove these teeth. Otherwise, they will cause pain, swelling and infection.