Why we need to replace missing teeth
Placing a bridge after teeth have been lost can prevent a chain reaction of problems that could affect your entire mouth. Teeth need each other for support, and when a tooth is lost, the biting forces change on the teeth next to the space, causing them to shift. When a tooth on the opposite arch no longer has anything to chew against, it begins to extrude out of the socket. You can eventually end up losing it too.
As your bite changes, it gets harder and harder to chew your food, and your jaw joint, the TMJ, may be damaged. It’s also much harder to clean teeth that have shifted. Harmful plaque and tartar collect in these new hard-to-reach places, causing cavities and the permanent bone loss that comes with gum disease.
A bridge supported by implants
Dental implants are small titanium cylinders that are surgically inserted into the bone of the jaw to replace the roots of missing teeth. Artificial teeth are then attached to the implants, and can be used as part of a bridge.
A partial denture is another way to solve the problem of missing teeth, but there are several advantages to an implant-supported bridge. You avoid the clasps and metal work that come with a partial denture, and an implant can help stop the continuing bone loss that begins when teeth are removed. Using dental implants to support a bridge is an excellent way to replace missing teeth.