Missing Teeth

 

If a tooth is lost, we may recommend replacement with a Fixed Bridge. A bridge spans a space where one or more teeth have been lost. It is called "fixed because it is cemented into place and does not come out. The teeth on either end of the span are crowned and called abutments. The false tooth (teeth) spanning the gap between the crown abutments are pontics.

When a tooth or teeth are lost, the neighboring teeth are affected. Because the support and chewing forces are altered, the remaining teeth will begin to shift. The tooth opposite the missing tooth will begin to drift out of its socket. This can accelerate gum disease and occlusal disease causing further breakdown in the dental arch.

Therefore, we recommend replacing missing teeth to:

  • Restore and maintain the natural bite
  • Prevent unnatural stress on other teeth
  • Keep opposing teeth in their proper place
  • Prevent shifting and tilting of adjacent teeth
  • Help prevent further dental decay and gum disease
  • Maximize your smile, speech and chewing

Fixed bridgework is very predictable, simple, esthetic and a proven method to
replace missing teeth. Fixed bridges look, feel, and function like
natural teeth.

If there are multiple missing teeth, missing teeth on both sides of an arch, and/or there is no anchor at one end of the span, a
Removable Partial Denture may be recommended. Partial dentures (partials) use a metal framework to support denture tooth replacements of the missing teeth. Partials are not as well accepted as bridgework by patients, but function acceptably for most patients. While a traditional partial denture is secured by finger-like metal clasps around the outside of the remaining teeth, there are many options for more natural "hidden" methods of retaining the partial denture.The options available depend on the individual custom design of the partial denture.

 

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