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Dental Bridges are fabricated out of 2 or more dental crowns covering teeth on either side of the missing tooth (there will be a gap present). Dental bridges literally just bridge the gap created my at least one missing tooth but can be multiple missing teeth the dental bridge is replacing.

Bridges are made up of 2 or more dental crowns for the teeth on either side of the space . These 2 or more anchoring crowns are referred to as anchoring abutments. A false tooth or teeth is located in between. These false teeth are referred to as dental pontics and can be fabricated from gold, alloys, porcelain, or a combination of any of these dental materials. Dental bridges can supported by either natural teeth or dental implants.

Benefits Of Dental Bridges

Dental Bridges can do the following for you:

-Restore your smile to its fullest potential by replacing lost teeth

-Restore your ability to properly chew and speak

-Maintain and restore the shape of your face

-Allow for even distribution of the forces in your bite properly by replacing missing teeth

-Prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position. If this happens more damage can occur as your bite changes

Types of Dental Bridges Available

-Traditional dental bridges involve fabricating a dental crown for the tooth or implant on either side of the missing tooth, with a dental pontic in between. Traditional dental bridges are easily the most common type of dental bridge and are made of either porcelain fused to metal(PFM) or ceramics.

-Cantilever dental bridges are prescribed when there are adjacent teeth on only one side of the missing tooth or teeth. This is not a very common with the addition of dental implants to a dentists arsenal and is not recommended in the back of the mouth where the forces can cause damage to the dental bridge as well as surrounding teeth.

-Maryland bonded dental bridges (also referred to as a dental resin bonded bridges) can be made of porcelain, porcelain fused to metal(PFM), or plastic resin teeth and gums supported by a metal or porcelain framework. Metal or porcelain wings often on just one side of the bridge are bonded to your existing teeth.

-Dental Implant Supported Bridge – implant supported dental bridges can be used when you have more than one tooth missing. Instead of being supported by dental crowns or metal frameworks, this type of dental bridge is supported by dental implants. Generally, 1 (one) dental implant is placed for every missing tooth, and this series of dental implants holds the bridge in place. However, the bridge may consist of a pontic suspended between two implant-supported crowns if placing one implant for every lost tooth is not possible.

Marielaina Perrone DDS Dental Bridges

Office Visits For A Dental Bridge

During the initial visit to your dentist for getting a dental bridge, the abutment teeth are prepared to accept a dental crown. The preparation involves re-contouring these teeth by removing a portion of enamel to allow room for a crown to be placed over them. Next, dental impressions of the teeth are made, which give the lab technician a model from which the bridge, pontic, and crowns will be made. Your dentist will fabricate a temporary bridge for you to wear to protect the exposed teeth and gums while the bridge is being made.

During the second visit, your temporary bridge will be removed, the temporary cement will be cleaned off the teeth, and the new porcelain or metal bridge will be checked and adjusted, as necessary, to achieve an ideal fit. Multiple visits may be required to check the fit of the metal framework and bite. This is dependent on each individual’s case as metal can distort as well as teeth moving ever so slightly. If the fit is acceptable to the dentist, the dental bridge will then be cemented in place.

Dental Bridges Cost

The overall cost of a dental bridge varies depending on the type of bridge selected and the materials used by your dentist. Dental insurance, if you have it, will typically pay a percentage of the fee for your dental bridge depending on the individual dental plan.

How Long Will My Dental Bridge Last?

Dental bridges can last five to 15 years and sometimes even longer. With a good oral hygiene regimen as well as regular dental checkups, it is not unusual for dental bridges to be still going strong after 10 years. It will depend on each individual in the end.

Eating With Dental Bridges

Eating should be easier once the dental bridge is in place. This is because you will no longer have a gap for food to get trapped into.

Caring For Dental Bridges

Following a good oral hygiene regimen of brushing, flossing, and rinsing along with regular dental examinations with dental cleanings is all you will need to do. The better dental hygiene you maintain the better chance of that dental bridge lasting a long time. Flossing will be more of a challenge as you need to thread the floss under the bridge to keep it clean. Your dentist will recommend floss threaders to use. This will allow you to get under the bridge and properly keep it clean and healthy.

Dental Bridges Conclusion

Your dentist can close the gaps in your smile with one of the 4 types dental bridges to restore your smile. With so many types of dental bridges available, you can feel confident that your dentist has an appropriate solution for your missing teeth.

Dental implants have slowly become a treatment staple in dentistry and in patient’s lives for over 60 years. In the earliest days of dentistry, patients with lost teeth had limited options that came with drawbacks. Dental implants have given dentists the ability to restore a patient’s smile to a more natural looking and comfortable feeling smile. Dental implants can be used to replace a single tooth, multiple teeth, or your full dentition with excellent long term success and stability.

Dental Implants Explained

Dental implants are a man made tooth root ( made of titanium) replacement that a periodontist, oral surgeon, or implant dentist places into your jaw to support future restorations that resemble a tooth or group of teeth to create a long lasting natural smile. Dental implants can replace a single tooth, support multiple teeth as a fixed implant bridge, or support a denture (making it more comfortable for the wearer and extremely secure).

Dental Implants Marielaina Perrone DDSDental implants are the ideal solution for people in overall good oral health who have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, injury, fracture or tooth decay. Dental implants are actually more tooth saving than traditional crowns and bridges, since dental implants do not come with the need to cut down healthy teeth or rely on adjacent teeth for support like a traditional fixed dental bridge does.

The best long term prognosis occurs when sufficient bone, and good overall health are present. This will allow for ideal oseointegration, (the way bone fills in around the implant for strength). Dental implants once fully healed and integrated will be intimately connected with the surrounding bone and periodontal tissues in the mouth. So, proper fit, good occlusion (the way our teeth fit together), and excellent oral hygiene are essential for long term success. With advancments in technique and dental materials, dental bone grafts are now more successful than ever and can be used to augment your natural bone when an area is lacking. Periodontal disease, diabetes, bleeding problems, etc. can cause difficulty in placement, healing and longevity of the dental implants. Be upfront with your dentist regarding any health issues so that the proper diagnostic and treatmnt steps can be taken in advance to give you the highest rate of success. There is an increased risk of failure in patients who are smokers/tobacco users. For this reason, dental implants are frequently placed only after a patient has ceased smoking/tobacco use.

Top Reasons For Dental Implants

-Cosmetics/Esthetics. Dental implant restorations, (crowns and bridges) are matched to your existing teeth in color, shape, and size. The only two people in the world who should be able to tell you have dental implants should be you and your dentist. If done properly, they will look like a natural part of your smile.

-Stability. Traditionally, many patients opted for removable dentures when missing multiple teeth. This led to compromises in esthetics and function. Dental implants can replace individual teeth but can also be used as support for a removable denture. This makes them as stable as your own natural teeth.

-Maintain Dental Health. Dental implants help to maintain bone levels of the jaws. This will allow your face to maintain its natural structure as long as possible.

-No Worries. Dental implants are stable so you won’t have to worry about them falling out, rocking, or not feeling stable enough to eat what you want. Although dental implants can have complications, they are few and far between. You will never need a root canal on a dental implant nor will you ever get tooth decay.

-Longevity. Dental implants have an over 98% success rate and should (with proper care) last a lifetime.

-Financial Cost. Initially, many think that a single implant or multiple implants are way too costly. Think about these facts, replacing 1 tooth with an implant is only slightly more expensive than a fixed dental bridge. Dental ridges generally last 10-20 years if you are extremely diligent with your oral hygiene regimen. The implant will not decay, and usually will last a lifetime with proper care and maintenance. In the long run, it is less expensive and does not unnecessarily cause further damage adjacent teeth.

Dental Implants Conclusion

Dental implants should always be considered as an option when a missing tooth or teeth are involved. Your dentist should always give you as the patient the education to make the decision that is best for you. There are great ways to have the smile you want, an implant may be the perfect way to give you back what you may have lost. An informed, educated patient will make the best choice for his/her dental care. Remember to always maintain regular dental visits for periodic dental examinations and professional cleanings.

In the past, orthodontics was routinely an early teen event that began once all of the baby teeth were gone and permanent teeth were in. Recent advances in the understanding of a child development as well as modern materials have re-evaluated the time for orthodontic treatment to an earlier age. It is now recommended by the American Association of Orthodontists that every child should receive an orthodontic evaluation by age 7. But Why?

Common Orthodontic Problems Found At Age 7

1. Buck Teeth. Do the upper front teeth stick way out of line?

2. Deep Bite. Do the upper teeth cover the lower teeth?

3. Underbite. Do the upper teeth fit inside the arch of the lower teeth?

4. Open Bite. Do only the back teeth touch when biting down?

5. Crowded or overlapped teeth. Do the teeth have too much or too little space in certain areas?

6. Misaligned front teeth. Do the spaces between the upper two front teeth and lower two front teeth not line up?

7. Crossbite. Do the lower teeth fit properly inside the upper teeth?

8 .Missing teeth. If there are baby teeth that never developed, there will not be a permanent tooth to follow. Jaw x-rays may also find that certain permanent teeth are not  presently formed or are unable to come down on their own.

9. Extra teeth. When there are double teeth, extra teeth or malformed teeth.

Generally, orthodontic treatment does not begin at age 7 but it is good to get a head start to avoid any complications down the road. However, early orthodontic treatment may be necessary before age 7 if the following appear:

-Problems Speaking

-Proper Chewing Is Difficult

-Abnormal bite development

-Clicking or popping in the jaw

-Permanent teeth that are erutping into the mouth crowded or overlapped

-A thumb sucking problem

-A teeth grinding problem

-Issues biting cheeks or biting into the roof of the mouth

Benefits Of Early Orthodontic Treatment

Early orthodontic evaluation provides both timely diagnosis of problems and increased opportunity for more effective treatment. Early intervention gives the ability to guide growth and development, preventing more serious issues later. When orthodontic intervention is not necessary, an orthodontist can carefully monitor growth and development and begin treatment when it is ideal.

Early orthodontic treatment is also referred to as interceptive treatment or Phase I treatment. Some of the most direct results of interceptive treatment include the following:

-Creating room for crowded, erupting teeth

-Creating facial symmetry through influencing jaw growth

-Reducing the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth

-Preserving space for teeth that are coming in

-Reducing the need for tooth removal

-Reducing Phase II treatment time with braces

Phase II orthodontic treatment begins when all of the permanent teeth erupt and usually involves a full set of braces and not just a localized treatment plan.

Orthodontic Conclusion

While not every child will need early orthodontic treatment, it is best to know in advance what the options will be going forward. It is important to remember, orthodontics is not strictly a cosmetic endeavor, bite alignment is the ultimate goal. The issues presented above can all be corrected fairly easily if done in a phased approach. However, allowing this early intervention time to pass can complicate treatment requiring more extreme measures (i.e. teeth removal or surgery) to fulfill the same goal.

Do you have a missing tooth (or teeth) that need to be replaced? Throughout our lives, teeth can be lost for a variety reasons. They can be lost from tooth decay, periodontal disease, nutritional neglect, and accidents. Missing teeth can compromise your eating habits, speech, health, and appearance. The loss of a front tooth can negatively affect the appearance of your smile, your speech, and your self confidence. Losing a tooth in the back of your mouth can lead to a number of issues affecting your ability to chew, your ability to properly clean your teeth, jaw collapse, teeth shifting, and the health of your remaining teeth. Replacing a lost tooth will prevent further destruction and help save your remaining teeth. Replacing lost teeth can save you time, money, keep you healthier,and prevent many other oral difficulties in the future.

The loss of a single tooth can start a devastating chain reaction of events. After a back molar tooth is lost, a series of destructive events occurs including the displacement and tilting of other teeth around it including a supra eruption (when a tooth continues to grow into the mouth because it is not being kept in place by it’s opposing tooth) of the tooth above it, decay, drifting and formation of periodontal pockets. Eventually, bone loss and periodontal disease, to the teeth surrounding the lost tooth, tend to cause further destruction. If you fail to replace a lost back tooth, you may cause the loss of other teeth.

What Can Happen If Lost Teeth Are Not Replaced?

-Shifting of Teeth - When a tooth is lost, for whatever reason, the surrounding teeth will begin to drift into the open space. This includes both adjacent teeth as well as teeth in the other arch. A once straight smile can quickly turn into a crooked one. Replacing a lost tooth sooner, rather than later, can prevent this from happening As the number of lost teeth increases, the further the damage to the overall eveness of the bite  and, making it harder to replace later on. The altered position of teeth causes the forces to be applied incorrectly while chewing, making fractures and bone loss much more likely. The incorrect forces also cause wear which can result in loss of tooth height and subsequent facial changes.

-Temperomandibular Joint Issues (TMJ Disorder) - As your teeth shift out of their normal alignment, bite issues usually develop. When the upper and lower teeth do not meet properly, it can strain and eventually damge the TMJ. This can lead to head, jaw, and ear pain, headaches, dislocations, clicking and popping, as well as permanent damage to the joint.

-Periodontal Disease - When teeth begin to shift, it makes it that much harder to keep your teeth clean. It will be harder to brush and floss certain areas which have, essentially, created a trap for plaque and food debris to build up. When plaque and bacteria are not removed and allowed to build up the result can be tooth decay and periodontal disease. When teeth shift and drift, they oftentimes create a root exposure problem, and allow forces to move them in unnatural ways. This can loosen teeth, and make them very sensitive. Periodontal disease can lead to further tooth loss.

Options For Replacing Missing Teeth

Patients have multiple options when teeth are lost. They can include fixed ( permanent and not removable) or removable options. These procedures can include:

-Removable Dentures - This option has been the longstanding traditional option when multiple teeth are missing. Removable dentures are often the fastest and least expensive alternative in the short term. There are some disadvantages to removable dentures. Removable dentures work by attaching to exisiting teeth. This often leads to these “anchor” teeth becoming loose, worn, decayed, or broken. There can also be bone loss under the denture, which over time will make the denture more and more mobile and uncomfortable. Removable dentures can also be inconvenient to clean after eating especially if out at a restaurant. Lastly, removable dentures have about 1/3 the chewing power and efficiency of natural teeth. This can lead to poor chewing and lack of good nutrition in one’s diet.

Marielaina Perrone DDS Dental Bridges-Fixed Dental Bridge - This entails cutting down surrounding teeth, and fitting them with fused crowns to replace any missing teeth. The most popular type of fixed bridge is called a 3 unit bridge. This means that the two natural teeth adjacent to the missing tooth serve as anchors. This is a very stable option but does also have disadvantages. Disadvantages include:

-Removal of good tooth structure from adjacent teeth.

-Difficulty maintaining good dental hygiene under bridges as normal flossing is not possible

-Long term prognosis of most dental bridges in between 8-10 years before it needs replacing. This is an average. Some bridges can and will last longer.

-Dental Implants – Dental implants are the largest initial investment, but most cost effective long term solution for replacement of missing teeth available today. The main disadvantage to dental implants is the time it takes to be completed. Following placement of the dental implant a 4-6 month healing time is generally needed before the tooth can be restored. Dental implants are the ideal solution for many tooth replacements in dentistry today.

-All on Four Dentures - When many or all  teeth are lost, or if you are rapidly progressing to full mouth breakdown, This dental implant/denture option is an excellent choice. The best thing about this procedure is that you have your entire procedure done and walk out with teeth the same day. There are usually 4 dental implants placed and a titanium bar supported denture placed. It is screwed down, but can be removed if needed. The biggest negatives here are price, and post operative possibility of bruising and discomfort while healing.

Tooth Replacement Conclusion

Tooth loss can happen at any time to anyone. Losing a tooth due to a trauma, dental disease, habits, etc. can be a big problem for a variety of reasons. If teeth are not replaced, they can cause issues for you including bone loss, periodontal disease, and more tooth loss. Replacing lost teeth as soon as possible will save you discomfort and greater expense in the future. Knowing your options, and being informed can help you and your dentist come up with the best treatment options for you. Remember, sooner is better than later, but know that whenever you are ready to move forward with tooth replacements there will always be options!