A bridge is an effective treatment for a gap between teeth after tooth loss in San Francisco
Although teeth are meant to last a lifetime, trauma, periodontal disease, decay, and other conditions can result in the loss of a tooth. Some patients may feel that if the gap isn’t visible, there is no reason to replace a missing tooth; however, a gap between teeth can cause a number of problems:
- Alignment – When a lost tooth isn’t replaced, the remaining teeth can lean into the gap due to loss of support. This can cause misalignment across the arch, which can increase the risk for periodontal disease.
- Diet – Missing teeth can make it difficult to chew food thoroughly, which can lead to nutritional and digestive problems.
- Speech – The tongue needs to be pressed against the back of the teeth to pronounce certain sounds. When gaps exist, clear speech can become difficult, if not impossible.
- Jaw discomfort – When there is a gap between teeth, patients tend to chew on the opposite side of the mouth rather than balancing their chewing. This can lead to jaw discomfort and unusual wear on the teeth.
- Aesthetics – In addition to an unsightly gap if the tooth loss occurred in the visible portion of the smile, facial contours can be affected due to loss of support for the lips or cheek.
Dr. Arellano and his skilled team offer several options to replace missing teeth, but a dental bridge remains a very popular choice. A dental bridge usually requires just two visits – one for preparation and one for placement.
During the preparation visit, the area is numbed with a local anesthetic to ensure patient comfort. The teeth adjacent to the gap are reduced and shaped to facilitate placement of the crowns that anchor the bridge in place. An impression is taken, which is sent to the dental laboratory where the bridge will be created. A temporary resin bridge will be placed to protect the prepared teeth. It is bonded in place with a temporary cement to make removal easier during the final appointment.
When the final restoration is ready, the patient returns to the office for placement. The interim bridge is removed and the permanent one is tried for proper fit. It can be adjusted if the bridge is too high. The bite is checked carefully and any necessary alterations are made to ensure the bridge meets the opposing teeth correctly. If the bite isn’t precise, it could lead to discomfort for the patient and early bridge failure. Once the fit satisfies Dr. Arellano and the patient, the bridge is placed using an extremely strong durable cement.
Dental implants and partial dentures are other options for replacing missing teeth. The doctor works with patients to help them choose the option that best fits their needs, desires, and budget. Call 415-881-4343 today and schedule an appointment with the team that keeps San Francisco smiling beautifully.