You only have one set of adult teeth, and they need to last until you are 80, 90, or beyond. The actions you take towards your teeth today will either benefit you or harm you in the future. Of course, good dental care starts with seeing a dentist regularly. You should go in for cleanings and checkups, and any other time you think something might be amiss with your teeth. Education is important when it comes to any aspect of your health, so start reading the articles on this website to educate yourself about dentists and dental care. We promise that when you're 80 and you still have your teeth, you won't regret the time spent.
When you are missing a few teeth but the rest of your teeth are still intact and in good condition, your dentist may recommend having a dental bridge treatment. While you may not like the idea of having any false teeth, it can help you chew better, speak better, and may keep you from hiding your smile. However, not all bridges are the same. Here are a few of the different types you should discuss with your dentist.
A traditional bridge has a crown on either side of the false teeth. This crown is then cemented to the natural teeth on the sides of the gap. There may be one false tooth or many. However, there must be a natural tooth on both sides of the missing teeth for the crowns. This type of bridge is permanent and you cannot take it out of your mouth. You treat the whole thing like your regular teeth as far as brushing and flossing.
A Maryland bridge is very similar to a traditional bridge, you need to have a tooth on either side of the gap. However, a crown is not cemented to the natural teeth. Instead, wires or metal are designed to slip around the teeth and hold the false teeth in place. You can remove this type of bridge and will need to do so to brush and floss both your teeth and the bridge. The bridge will be secure though, and you will not need to use any type of dental adhesive to hold it in place.
An implant bridge does not require any natural teeth. Instead, a titanium rod is implanted into your jaw bone and a crown is placed over it. You can have one implant on either side of a gap and then other false teeth in between the two. Generally, you can have multiple teeth in between the two implants.
A cantilever bridge is similar to a traditional bridge in that it has a crown cemented on a natural tooth. The difference is that you need only one natural tooth. The false teeth are attached to this one crown to fill the gap.
Regardless of where you are missing teeth, it will have some effect on how you eat, speak, and look. Talk with a dental practitioner about the different options for having a dental bridge treatment. You will be surprised at how much it helps.