One of the most common ways to replace missing teeth is to construct a dental bridge. Dental bridges are made using two dental crowns, attached either side of the vacant tooth space supporting an artificial tooth called a pontic. This creates the appearance of a full set of teeth, restoring the cosmetic appearance and also the functionality of the tooth.
It is important to replace missing teeth for a number of reasons. Missing teeth leave hollows in the gums, which can be breeding grounds for bacteria. This can cause further damage to the other teeth, resulting in further tooth loss. Missing teeth also encourage the remaining teeth to lean into the gaps and also rotate. This can cause interruptions in bite that can cause bruxism and painful jaw conditions such as TMJ.
One or more missing teeth can also cause problems with facial tissue. The teeth act as rigid supports for the facial muscles and if they are missing can cause unattractive sagging. A dental bridge will restore the support offered by real teeth and prevent other teeth moving around in the dental arc.
Although dental bridges are usually made using dental crowns, if the adjacent teeth are in good enough condition then a City of London dentist may choose to attach the pontic using resin bonded strips. This will remove the need for any unnecessary enamel removal which is often needed before fitting a dental crown. There are other dental restorations available in the form of dental implants and partial dentures but many patients opt to have bridges because they are affordable and involve minimal surgery. If you have suffered a missing tooth and are keen to replace it, ask your dentist about the possibilities of dental bridges.