September 25, 2014
There are many dental problems that can negatively impact oral health and function, but perhaps none are more serious than adult tooth loss. Many people who have lost adult teeth are first bothered by the aesthetic effects that tooth loss has on the smile, but there are many health concerns to consider as well. Losing a tooth is like losing an important piece to a puzzle, the mouth is not complete without it. The functions of the mouth are compromised, the structure of the jaw becomes at risk, and surrounding teeth are left without proper support. Dental bridges can replace lost teeth so that the mouth is once again complete, allowing patients to regain confidence and a full range of oral functions. Below we discuss which of our Reston patients are dental bridge candidates.
Is a Dental Bridge Right for Me?
A dental bridge is a restorative treatment option that fills in gaps that have been left by missing teeth. While a dental bridge may fill in a gap of just a single tooth, or a larger gap of two or three consecutive teeth, in most cases a dental bridge is used when a patient is missing a small group of teeth from the same area of the mouth.
Traditionally, dental bridges are affixed to two dental crowns (one placed on the teeth on either side of the gap). However, if there is not a tooth on which a dental crown can be placed, dental bridges can be anchored by dental implants, which are surgically implanted to act as artificial tooth roots. With these two techniques available, dental bridges can work for just about any patient who has a single tooth or small set of teeth to replace. Because the success of treatment is largely dependent on good oral health, dental bridges should only be placed in those patients with healthy teeth and gums. If any dental problems are present, they should be addressed before dental bridge treatment.
Benefits of Dental Bridges
For those of our patients who are dental bridge candidates, the results of treatment are highly successful. Most patients find that, with a dental bridge in place, they benefit from the following advantages:
- Improved speech
- Greater comfort when chewing and eating
- Renewed confidence
Deciding whether a patient is an ideal candidate for a dental bridge is based largely on the number of teeth that have been lost. While a bridge can replace a single lost tooth, a dental crown that is supported by a dental implant is another option for treating the loss of one tooth. Similarly, while a bridge can replace a large group of teeth, if tooth loss is significant, Dr. Myles is more likely to recommend a full or partial set of dentures. These treatment options can be discussed at a consultation with Dr. Myles.
Schedule an Appointment
Tooth loss is not a problem to be ashamed of, but it is one that requires urgent attention. If you have experienced tooth loss, schedule an appointment to discuss your restorative treatment options. Dr. Wayne Myles can fill in gaps of missing teeth to create a smile that is beautiful and complete, while preserving the health and structure of the mouth. We look forward to hearing from you!
July 31, 2014
Dr. Wayne Myles has helped countless patients throughout the greater Reston area who are missing teeth. One of the ways he's done this is through the use of dental bridges, which are a great option for people missing a few teeth in a row. A number of patients have asked about implant-supported dental bridges and crown-supported dental bridges, so let's take this opportunity to consider both.
About Dental Bridges
First things first, let's discuss dental bridges.
Dental bridges are appliances that are used to span the gap that is left behind when a person is missing teeth. This restores the appearance as well as the overall bite strength of a person's teeth.
Traditional dental bridges are removable and are held in place by bracing around the teeth adjacent to the tooth gap. The types of dental bridges we're looking at (implant-supported and crown-supported) are fixed and specially held in place by other means.
Implant Dentistry for Dental Bridge Support
Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that are surgically placed into a person's jawbone and gum tissue. When in place, dental implants offer a level of strength and stability that is comparable to natural tooth roots. The number of dental implants required to support a dental bridge will depend on the extent of the tooth loss that is experienced.
Ideal Candidates for Implant-Supported Dental Bridges
The best candidates for implant-supported dental bridges are people who are in good overall health and have sufficient jawbone and gum density in the area of the tooth gap. Good overall health is necessary since oral surgery is required to set the implants in place; patients who suffer from serious health problems will generally be poor candidates for any sort of surgical procedure.
In addition to the above, the dental implants process requires a months-long healing period. This ensures that the dental implants fuse with the living tissues of the mouth, It's important that patients have realistic expectations about the amount of time required for full recovery.
Dental Crowns for Bridge Support
Dental crowns are caps that fit over teeth in order to restore their strength and appearance. They can also be used to support a dental bridge as long as a patient has teeth bookending the tooth gap. In these instances, a special dental dental bridge is crafted that has crowns attached on each side of the appliance. The teeth that bookend the tooth gap are capped by these dental crowns to hold the dental bridge stable.
Ideal Candidates for Crown-Supported Dental Bridges
The best candidates for crown-supported dental bridges are people who have teeth adjacent to a tooth gap that are viable for receiving a dental crown. Realistic expectations of treatment are important to consider as well given the nature of the procedure.
Which option is right for me?
Though more invasive, implant-supported dental bridges tend to be more ideal since the dental implants are very sturdy and prevent gum recession and bone loss in the tooth gap. That said, the duration of treatment can be a downside for many patients.
Crown-supported dental bridges take less time to craft and the results are generally good. However, the dental crowns will require the removal of some tooth structure on your remaining teeth to place. In addition, this option will not address the bone loss and gum recession as dental implants would.
During your consultation, we will be able to go over all of these matters in much greater detail and help you make the best decisions for your needs.
Learn More About Advanced Dental Care
To learn more about dental bridges and your many options to consider when it comes to missing teeth, we encourage you to contact our advanced dental care center today. Dr. Wayne Myles looks forward to your visit and helping you make the best choices with regard to your dental health and wellness.