Bridges and Partials
Not only do missing teeth make it more difficult to chew, it puts more stress on all of your other teeth and causes them to break down faster. With teeth missing, you also have less support for your bone, muscles, and cheeks which can lead to a loss of their normal shape. Luckily there are options. A bridge, sometimes called a “fixed partial denture,” is a great way to replace a missing tooth. As the name implies, it bridges the gap by suspending a replacement tooth in the missing space using the teeth next to it as anchors. The health of a bridge relies on the health of the anchor teeth so it is very important to thoroughly brush and floss these teeth. If there aren’t teeth adjacent to the space to anchor to, dental implants can act as anchors for the bridge. This type of restoration is permanently fixed to the anchor teeth or implants and can only be removed by your dentist.
Sometimes when you have multiple missing teeth in various areas of your mouth, a partial denture is the most effective option to replace those teeth. A partial has a metal or flexible acrylic framework that holds replacement teeth and suspends them in the missing areas to greatly improve chewing ability and esthetics. Partials need to be taken out daily to be cleaned at home to ensure your mouth stays healthy. Implants can also be used to help ensure that your partial denture only comes out when you want it to. If you’re having issues with this, let Dr. McCue know.