Even a single missing tooth can completely change your bite and ability to chew comfortably. To prevent your teeth from shifting and causing complications, John H Ko DDS recommends a dental bridge at his office in Pleasanton, California. A bridge literally bridges the gap between your teeth, so you never have to be without a full set of teeth. If you have a missing tooth, call John H Ko DDS, or book an appointment online today.
If you have a missing tooth, Dr. Ko can fill the space left behind by your missing tooth by creating a bridge. A dental bridge uses the two teeth surrounding the gap to support your new artificial tooth. This helps restore your bite while preventing your teeth from shifting.
Your teeth work together to help you chew and speak. When you lose a tooth, your remaining teeth ultimately begin to shift. This can cause serious problems for your bite and tooth alignment, placing unnecessary stress on your teeth, jaw joints, and muscles.
Shifting teeth also put your oral health at risk of complications like tooth decay and gum disease, as misaligned teeth are more difficult to keep clean. Over time, the bone that once supported your now-missing tooth begins to shrink and resorb, which can change the way your jawbone holds up your lips and cheeks, making you look older than you are.
There are four main types of dental bridges;
A traditional bridge is the most popular type of bridge. If you opt for a traditional bridge, Dr. Ko fits the teeth on each side of your missing tooth — called abutment teeth — with dental crowns. Then he places a false tooth in the middle and cements it to the abutment teeth for support.
A Maryland bridge is similar to a traditional bridge, but instead of fitting your abutment teeth with dental crowns, your false tooth attaches to metal or porcelain framework.
A cantilever bridge only requires one healthy tooth surrounding your missing tooth, so Dr. Ko only needs to prepare one abutment tooth for a dental crown. Dentists only recommend this type of bridge if you don’t have two healthy abutment teeth to support your prosthetic tooth.
These dental bridges use dental implants for support — small titanium posts that replace your natural tooth roots — rather than dental crowns or metal framework.
The first step in placing a dental bridge is examining your mouth and taking X-rays to determine whether you’re a good candidate. Next, Dr. Ko prepares your abutment teeth for dental crowns by filing them down. This ensures that your crowns look as natural as the rest of your teeth.
Finally, Dr. Ko takes impressions of your teeth to serve as models when creating your crowns and false tooth. This process takes about two weeks, so he may fit you for a temporary bridge in the meantime.
At your next appointment, Dr. Ko replaces the temporary restoration with your permanent bridge. He makes any necessary adjustments to make sure the fit and comfort are perfect before cementing the bridge in place.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Ko, call John H Ko DDS, or book a consultation online today.