According to The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, statistics show that 69 percent of adults aged 35 to 44 have lost at least one permanent tooth due to an accident, gum disease, a failed root canal, or tooth decay.
Furthermore, by age 74, 26 percent of adults have lost all of their permanent teeth. Thankfully, in the hands of experienced Long Island cosmetic dentists like Dr. Nick and Dr. Elliot, our gap toothed smile can quickly become whole again with the use of a dental bridge. Simply put, a dental bridge is a replacement for a missing tooth. Unlike a dental implant, a bridge is an immediate cosmetic solution that does not require surgery and can restore your smile for years to come.
Fixed dental bridges
The most common situation where a bridge can be employed is a tooth missing between two other healthy
teeth. This is easily resolved with a traditional dental bridge that spans or “bridges” the gap between the two existing teeth. It involves the creation of two crowns which slip over the two healthy teeth on each side of the gap and a replacement tooth in between called a pontic. The healthy teeth are prepared for their role as “abutment” or anchor teeth by having some of their enamel removed to allow the crown to fit over them easily. The three tooth dental bridge is then cemented into place, and the gap is gone. This is referred to as a fixed dental bridge because it’s non-removable. The life span of a fixed dental bridge is between five and fifteen years.
Removable dental bridge
A similar result can be achieved with a removable bridge that is similar to the fixed dental bridge but is not cemented in place. It’s generally a more affordable alternative and is held in place by machined metal clips. It is somewhat less convenient in that it needs to be regularly removed to be cleaned and requires more hands-on diligence to maintain proper dental hygiene. However, it’s an attractive, reliable alternative and with proper care, will provide years of use. In Suffolk County, New York, Dr. Nick and Dr. Elliot provide the guidance and answers you will need to help decide which dental bridge is best suited to your needs.
A bridge is not an implant
For those who need to replace missing teeth and want a permanent solution rather than the fixed or removable dental bridge, a dental implant is the best option. It’s similar to a crown in which the root of a damaged tooth is capped with a porcelain “crown.” However, a dental implant is used when there is not enough root on which to affix a crown. The implant is made of a titanium post that is screwed into the jaw which then becomes the root to which a crown or replacement tooth is affixed. It is natural looking; it is maintained just as you would a normal tooth with regular brushing and flossing, and it is permanent. Once implanted, it becomes a flawless and permanent part of your smile.