Why Replace a Missing Tooth
When lower back teeth are missing, the teeth behind the space tip inwards and forwards. The teeth on top can shift and move (extrude) into the space. Failure to replace missing teeth results in much larger problems occurring over time requiring more extensive treatment. People with crooked teeth are more susceptible to gum disease. They lose bone and tissue around the roots of the teeth. The bone in the area of the missing teeth can shrink away and over time can result in facial collapse. One’s ability to chew can be affected and chewing forces are transferred to the other teeth resulting in compromised support, increased wear and deterioration. Replacing missing teeth immediately after they are lost can provide many benefits including reduced long term costs and improved overall health.
A bridge is one of the treatment options to replace a missing tooth. A tooth is usually required on either side of the space upon which the bridge is supported. Fabrication of a bridge generally requires two appointments.
At the first appointment, the supporting teeth are altered for the bridge and a mold is made. A temporary plastic bridge is made at this appointment, which is cemented in place until the final bridge is ready.
The bridge is made by a dental technician using the mold. At the second appointment, the bridge is fitted into place. The color of the bridge, the shape and the bite are checked. The see-through image shows the bridge fits over the supporting teeth.
When both you and your dentist are pleased with the fit, color, shape and bite, the bridge is cemented into place. This type of restoration generally provides an esthetic and functional result.
This young girl was congenitally missing two of her front teeth. Although the surround teeth appear healthy and implant were considered, there was little bone in the area of the missing teeth, which precluded the placement of implants. The patient chose all-ceramic bridges to replace the missing teeth.
Two all-ceramic bridges were used to replace the congenitally missing teeth. Even though the margins of the bridges were placed above the gum line for easy cleaning, they cannot be seen since the porcelain blends easily with the enamel of the tooth. The bridges are very natural and esthetic in appearance, resulting in a beautiful smile.