When teeth are missing, your smile undergoes significant changes. Missing teeth cause you to chew differently and, may cause mouth pain, and as your remaining teeth work to compensate for the loss, gaps and spaces form that only make the situation worse. A porcelain bridge (custom designed by your doctor) keeps your smile aligned and your bite functional. Bridges are anchored to existing teeth or crowns on either side of the missing tooth. These bridges are permanent, meaning they can only be affixed or removed by a dentist and are a long-term, restorative solution to your damaged smile.
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 has teeth on both sides of it. The function of many teeth can be affected by losing just one tooth, including the reduction of function during chewing. 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 the in need for restorations.
Q: What are my options for replacing a missing tooth?
A: By replacing missing teeth either with a bridge or with an implant, you will alleviate the problems associated with missing a tooth and will restore your smile back to its beautiful, full appearance. A bridge is one solution for replacing a tooth. By using neighboring teeth as the supportive structure, Dr. Hamman places a porcelain restoration into the vacant space, restoring the functionality and look of your smile. A dental implant is usually the better solution. Dental implants involve the placement of a titanium post directly into the jawbone. Once the post has bonded to the bone, it acts 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.