Remember when you were a kid and a lost tooth was cause for excitement and celebration as you placed it under your pillow in the hopes that the Tooth Fairy would come? Yeah, not so much the case when you lose a permanent adult tooth. After you receive your permanent teeth, a missing tooth no longer comes with the promise of money under your pillow, and can actually be quite devastating. Missing teeth can be a source of discomfort interfering with chewing or speaking and can undermine your confidence in your smile and appearance. Luckily, there are tooth replacement options such as dental bridges which can restore your smile for improvement in functionality and aesthetics.
What are Dental Bridges?
Dental bridges are a form of tooth replacement made to bridge gaps in our smile, replacing missing teeth. Sometimes called a fixed partial denture, a bridge replaces missing teeth with artificial teeth and literally “bridges” the gap where one or more teeth used to be. Unlike dentures, they are permanently fixed and can only be removed by a dentist.
What are Dental Bridges made of?
Bridges can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain or a combination of these materials and are attached to surrounding teeth for support.
How do I know if a Dental Bridge is right for me?
You can contact us to talk about tooth replacement options if you have a concern over a missing tooth or teeth. If you want a permanent solution, and are concerned over the appearance and functionality of your smile then a bridge may be your best option. Gaps can cause other teeth to shift to fill the space and can interfere with overall oral health so it is best to replace missing teeth.
What are the different types of Dental Bridges?
The Canadian Dental Association lists the different bridges as outlined below:
Traditional Bridges: used if there are natural teeth on each side of the missing tooth or gap.
Implant Bridges: used when several teeth are missing or if surrounding teeth aren’t healthy enough to support a bridge. A custom-made bridge is anchored to dental implants.
Resin-Bonded Bridges: used when the missing teeth are in the front of the mouth. The artificial teeth are fused together to metal bands and cemented to the back of your natural teeth.
Cantilever Bridges: used when there are healthy teeth on only one side of the missing tooth or teeth. This procedure involves anchoring the artificial tooth over one or more of your natural adjacent teeth.
Don’t worry, one of our dentists will help determine which bridge is right for you.
Extra credit! When did tooth replacement begin? What was used?
Around the 1700’s, human teeth—can I get a collective “yuck”—were a popular solution to replace missing or broken teeth because of their natural appearance and proven function. This didn’t work because the body would quickly reject the tooth and it would fall out. Perhaps they should have looked to The Etruscans (an ancient Italian civilization) credited with being the first cosmetic dentists because of their innovativeness and willingness to experiment. Remains have been discovered with artificial teeth held in place by gold wire, banding them to existing teeth—the first example of dental bridges!
Now you know a little more about dental bridges. If you have a gap in your smile due to a missing tooth/teeth, that you’d like to explore fixing, contact us to see if a bridge is the best tooth replacement option for you.