A gap on your teeth is embarrassing and makes you feel uncomfortable when smiling or talking to other people. But aside from lacking elegance and confidence, a missing tooth can be harmful to your dental health.
In addition to other restorative procedures, modern versions of dental bridges are becoming popular for replacing a missing tooth. So, why should you consider it more than the others? Here are the reasons why:
What Is a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge is among the several restorative options for a missing tooth, “bridging” the gap between the teeth. It is permanent, used for practical and aesthetic purposes, allows you to speak and eat better, and restore your tooth’s appearance. Unlike tooth crowns to fix cracked, uneven, weak, and crooked teeth, bridges are better for wide-tooth gaps.
There are three types of dental bridge material, such as gold, alloy, and porcelain. Many opt for porcelain since it matches the natural color of human teeth. The dentist will put an artificial tooth (called pontic) very close in shape and size to your missing tooth at your appointment.
The lifespan of an average dental bridge is anywhere between five to fifteen years. But with proper care, it can last for up to 20 to 30 years. The cost depends on the type of bridge you need. The good thing is that your insurance can significantly reduce your expenses.
Benefits of Dental Bridges
- Restore your ability to speak normally since a missing tooth can impede proper pronunciation
- Bring back your mouth and smile’s natural look
- Restore your ability to chew food efficiently
- Prevent bone loss from the jaw where your tooth is missing to maintain your normal facial structure
- Help avoid biting problems and other complications by preventing the adjacent tooth from moving into your tooth gaps
Why Replace a Missing Tooth with Dental Bridges
Aside from cosmetic reasons, choosing not to replace your missing tooth should not be an option. Instead, visit your dentist, like this Gonzales dental bridges, to discuss what suits your needs best. Here’s how a missing tooth can affect your dental health:
1. Your Face Could Change
The American Dental Association (ADA) says that even a back tooth loss can cause your mouth to shift, which can make you look older. Every aspect of your face is connected, so a lost tooth can result in bone deterioration and muscle drooping in the long run.
You may not avoid losing a tooth, but you can replace it to maintain your oral health. Moreover, it ensures your face doesn’t change dramatically due to a missing tooth.
2. A Tooth May Shift and Loosen
If all your teeth are present, neatly aligned, they can keep each other in line and stable. But if you’re missing even a single tooth, teeth shifting is possible. They can drift out of place, causing bite changes and potential gum disease and tooth decay.
3. Temporomandibular Joints (TMJ) Disorder
TMJ are muscles on the side of your head that help you chew and rotate your jaw. If you don’t replace a missing tooth, it can result in a TMJ disorder, which also causes a lot of pain. Though this disorder can be diagnosed and treated by a dental specialist, prevention is always the best treatment.
4. It Can Affect Your Mental Health
You may ignore chewing problems for a while, but it becomes irritating over time. A missing tooth can even affect your speech patterns, leading to low self-esteem. So, it’s better to endure getting used to having a new dental bridge for a while rather than a permanent discomfort due to a missing tooth.