If you’re one of the 156 million Americans missing one or more teeth, you have a decision to make: How will you replace it?
Before you answer too quickly and say that you don’t mind the gap and plan to leave it be, you should know that missing teeth cause more than just cosmetic problems. When you have gaps in your smile, your other teeth shift, your bite changes, you lose bone density in your jaw, and your facial structure changes — ignoring the gap isn’t wise.
Dental implants are an excellent choice that solves all the potential problems caused by missing teeth, but they’re not right for everyone.
In Boynton Beach, Florida, Hugh Rosenblatt, DMD, PA, offers a full spectrum of general and cosmetic dentistry care, including solutions for missing teeth. Here, Dr. Rosenblatt explains four advantages of dental bridges as a replacement option for lost teeth.
Dental bridges fill the gap left by missing teeth by replacing the lost tooth or teeth with artificial replicas. These replacements look and feel like your natural teeth, so no one can tell the difference. Unlike removable dentures, bridges are permanent appliances that anchor to crowns we place on the teeth on either side of the gap.
Dental bridges are an excellent option with several benefits if you’re not a good candidate for dental implants, which require a good supply of healthy bone tissue in the treatment area.
Placing a high value on your looks isn’t vanity; it’s self-care. When you’re not proud of your smile, your self-image suffers, you smile and laugh less often, and you may isolate yourself to avoid social situations. Studies report a direct correlation between missing teeth and mental health disorders like depression and anxiety.
Dental bridges restore your smile and self-confidence.
Speaking involves your tongue, jaws, lips, and teeth. Missing teeth often cause speech impediments, such as whistling and lisping. You may have trouble pronouncing certain words, especially those that contain th, sh, s, ch, f, and v, such as in the words: fish, thirsty, shoe, seed, cherry, fish, or very.
Dental bridges restore proper speech and improve your ability to communicate.
Your digestive tract relies on a full set of healthy teeth to kick-start the process. Chewing your food is the first step in breaking down your meal so your stomach can do the rest. But missing teeth short-circuit the process by failing to grind the food in your mouth, making your stomach work overtime and leading to digestive issues.
Dental bridges restore proper chewing and improve digestion.
Without the regular pressure from chewing, the section of the jawbone under the gap in your teeth doesn’t get the stimulation needed to produce new cells and maintain bone density. Eventually, your jawbone degrades and shrinks, changing the contours of your face.
Bridges restore regular pressure to preserve bone health.
To find out if dental bridges are the best solution to your missing-teeth dilemma, contact us online or by phone to schedule an appointment with Dr. Rosenblatt.