Missing one or more teeth can be an embarrassing issue, no matter your age. It can also hinder getting respect in your daily life. As it turns out, tooth loss is extremely common among American adults. Whether it’s from tooth decay, gum disease, a failed root canal, or an accident, many adults are missing teeth somewhere in their smile. In fact, nearly 7 in 10 adults have lost at least one of their teeth by the time they turn 44, and by the time they turn 74, about one-quarter have no permanent teeth left at all! If you’re a Jackson resident with one or more missing teeth, fret not, Dr. Watson can help!
Effects of Missing Teeth
Missing teeth can have an impact on how you speak, your ability to chew, and what you eat; your self-esteem may also take a hit, especially if the missing tooth now causes an unsightly gap in your smile. If left untreated for a time, a missing tooth may cause your teeth to shift, lead to a painful condition known as TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder), or increase your risk for gum disease and tooth decay.
How to Fix It
There’s no need to panic or fear, lots of options can help fill in the gap a missing tooth leaves behind. Fixed dental bridges are among the more common choices, and work exactly how they sound: by bridging or filling in the space caused by a lost tooth. Fixed bridges are just that – fixed – and cannot be taken in and out of the mouth and are typically held in place via bonding cement and/or metal substructures.
Types of Bridges
Made from porcelain, porcelain-over-metal, metal alloys, or gold, a bridge uses neighboring teeth to anchor one or more artificial teeth in between them. Although there are several types of fixed bridges, Dr. Watson offers these three main types:
- Conventional/traditional fixed bridge
- Cantilever bridge
- Resin-bonded bridge (also known as a Maryland bridge)
If you are missing a tooth, or several teeth, call our Jackson dentist office today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Watson, to see if a dental bridge may be right for you.