Sometimes gum disease, injury, decay, or simply wear results in the loss of a tooth. A large gap in your smile can create significant problems for your dental health if it isn’t corrected. Over time, your bite pressure may shift to other parts of your mouth to compensate for an inability to efficiently chew in the area of the missing tooth. Neighboring teeth may begin to move about, moving into the gap, resulting in discomfort, pain, and more problems down the road. Porcelain bridges literally “bridge the gap” in your smile. Dr. LoVerdi creates a natural, functional bridge to correct your smile, to restore your bite, and to alleviate your discomfort. A porcelain bridge is created out of metal, alloys, or porcelain and utilizes the teeth on both sides of the gap as its supportive structure. After some preparation of the two neighboring teeth, crowns are created for them. A prosthetic tooth (or pontic) is then fused between the crowns to fill the gap. A bridge is a semi-permanent dental restoration, meaning it can only be removed by a dentist, so you can rest assured that your porcelain bridge will be a lasting restoration to your oral health.
Q: How can losing a back tooth affect my smile?
A: Losing a back tooth will darken your overall smile, making it look smaller and narrower. Your smile will appear to stop short, and the look will be exaggerated if your missing tooth still has teeth on both sides of it. Function during chewing will be reduced, and function of many teeth can be affected by losing just one tooth. When you are missing a tooth, you compensate by chewing differently, putting pressure on different parts of your mouth. This can cause your other teeth to shift, creating gaps and spaces, and may even cause fractures that result in additional tooth loss or in the need for restorations.
Q: What are my options for replacing a missing tooth?
A: By replacing missing teeth with either a bridge or an implant, you will alleviate the problems associated with missing a tooth and will restore your smile to its beautiful, full appearance. A bridge is one solution for replacing a tooth. By using neighboring teeth as the supportive structure, Dr. LoVerdi places a porcelain restoration into the vacant space, restoring the functionality and look of your smile. A dental implant is also an excellent solution. Dental implants involve the placement of a titanium post directly into the jawbone. Once the post has bonded to the bone, it can act as a new, solid support for a natural looking, porcelain restoration. Implants can replace a single tooth or an entire set of teeth, offering more function and permanence than traditional dentures.
If you have pain when chewing, or if you experience temperature sensitivity, ask Dr. LoVerdi if crowns are right for you.
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