Gaps left by missing teeth eventually cause the remaining teeth to rotate or shift into the empty spaces, which may result in a bad bite. Dental bridges or dental implants offer the best means of improving smiles by filling in gaps or replacing missing teeth.
Missing teeth can cause a change in occlusion (bite), shifting of the teeth, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), speech impediments, an increased risk for periodontal disease and a greater chance of tooth decay.
Bridges span the space where the teeth are missing. Bridges are cemented to the natural teeth or implants surrounding the empty space. These teeth, called abutments, serve as anchors for the bridge. A replacement tooth, called a pontic, is attached to the crowns that cover the abutments. As with crowns, you have a choice of materials for bridges.
Porcelain or ceramic bridges can be matched to the colour of your natural teeth. In areas of your mouth that are under less stress, such as your front teeth, a cantilever bridge may be used. Cantilever bridges are used when there are teeth on only one side of the open space.
Bridges can reduce your risk of gum disease, help correct some bite issues and improve your speech. Bridges require your commitment to serious oral hygiene, but will last as many as ten years or more.
Your dentist can help you decide the most appropriate treatment based on the location of the missing tooth, aesthetic considerations and cost.
To book an appointment, contact your local OMFSPK clinic. To find out more about treatments available and price lists please click here.