Bridges & Removable Partials Fix Missing Teeth
Adults lose teeth for a variety of reasons. It’s actually a lot more common than you think. Perhaps 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth. The leading cause of tooth loss among adults is gum disease, but decay, trauma, and other factors can also cause tooth loss.
If missing teeth are not replaced, your other teeth can drift out of position. The area also becomes more susceptible to gum disease and decay of the surrounding teeth. Fortunately, we have many options for replacing one or more missing teeth, such as a removable partial denture, a fixed bridge, or dental implant.
To learn which of these options is right for you, please call (843) 903-3111 for an appointment with Myrtle Beach cosmetic dentist Dr. Dustin Holladay at Carolina Forest Cosmetic Dentistry.
Missing Teeth Impact Your Oral and Overall Health
If you do not replace a missing tooth, it can be bad for your oral and overall health. Teeth support each other. When one is missing, the others can drift out of position. This can lead those teeth to experience damaging force in a direction they’re not prepared to handle. This can lead to serious damage. These tilted, crooked teeth are harder to clean, too. This can increase the risk of gum disease and tooth decay.
But missing teeth don’t just impact your oral health. Missing teeth can reduce your ability to chew, which can cause you to eat a less healthy diet. Plus, tooth decay and gum disease can impact your heart and brain, increasing your risk of cancer, heart disease, and dementia. In fact, people with fewer teeth are less likely to live long lives.
Removable Partial Denture
A removable partial denture (RPD) consists of an artificial tooth or teeth with small attachments on either side. These attachments anchor the artificial tooth to the teeth beside it, but can be detached when the RPD needs to be removed. Attachments may be made of metal or a flexible material that blends into your surrounding tissues. Being removable is useful for cleaning, but RPDs are more likely to fall out than a fixed bridge. They also reduce your chewing strength. And if you don’t properly clean around the RPD, food and bacteria can accumulate, causing cavities. Most of our patients choose the flexible option due to lighter weight and being more comfortable in their mouths.
A traditional fixed bridge is composed of a full artificial tooth with crowns attached to either side. These crowns are cemented over the teeth next to the missing tooth, and hold the artificial tooth in place where your missing tooth had been. Bridges are custom designed to look just like natural teeth and to fit with your bite.
Procedure for Fixed Bridge
The teeth next to the empty space will be reduced in order to receive the crown portion of the bridge. Then an impression will be taken of the whole area (the missing area and the two teeth next to it).
This impression is sent to a lab, and a bridge custom-designed to fit the area. Just as with the placement of a crown, a temporary bridge will be put in place to protect your teeth and gums while the restoration is being constructed.
Consider Dental Implants
Although these tooth replacement options are better than leaving a gap in your mouth, neither is as good as dental implants. Dental implants are the tooth replacement option most like your natural teeth. They look natural, function like a natural tooth, and can last a lifetime with proper care.
To learn which tooth replacement option is best for you, please call today for an appointment with Myrtle Beach cosmetic dentist Dr. Dustin Holladay at Carolina Forest Cosmetic Dentistry.