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Bridges and Implants

Another option for replacing missing teeth and restoring full dentition is with fixed bridgework or dental implants.

 

Bridges

A bridge is a dental appliance that replaces one or more natural missing teeth, thereby “bridging” the space between two teeth. Fixed bridges are cemented onto the teeth on either side of the space. Unlike removable partial dentures, fixed bridges cannot be taken out of the mouth by the patient.

 

Who should get a bridge?

If you are missing any teeth and are committed to maintaining good oral hygiene practices, you may be a good candidate for a bridge. If left unfilled, this space can cause the surrounding teeth to drift out of position and can cause teeth and gums to become more susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease that can cause further tooth loss. Fixed bridges not only correct an altered bite, improve your chewing ability and speech, but they also safeguard your appearance by preventing the collapse of your facial features that can cause premature wrinkles and age lines.

 

How do I care for a bridge?

With a bridge, it is more important than ever to brush, floss, and see your dentist regularly. If you do not control the buildup of food debris and plaque–the sticky film of bacteria formed from food acids–your teeth and gums can become infected, requiring further treatment and resulting in possible loss of the bridge. Your dentist may also recommend using floss threaders that help remove bacteria from hard to reach spaces between the bridge and adjacent teeth and gums. If you maintain optimal oral hygiene care, you can expect your fixed bridge to last as many as 8-10 years, or even longer.

 

Implants

Despite improvements in dental care, millions of Americans suffer tooth loss – mostly due to tooth decay, gingivitis and periodontitis (gum disease), or injury. For many years, the only treatment options available for people with missing teeth were bridges and dentures. But today dental implants are becoming the standard of care. Success rates vary, depending on where in the jaw the implants are placed. In general, dental implants have a success rate of up to 98%. With proper care, implants can last a lifetime.

 

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are replacement tooth roots. Implants provide a strong foundation for fixed (permanent) or removable replacement teeth that are made to match your natural teeth. Some advantages of dental implants include improved appearance, speech, comfort, and oral health. Eating will be easier and pain-free. Implants are also very durable. With good care, many implants last a lifetime. Also, implants are not removable, so there is no need for the messy adhesives to keep your dentures in place.

 

How Do I Care for My Implant?

Dental implants require the same care as permanent teeth, including brushing, flossing, and regular dental check-ups.

 

 

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