Replacing missing front teeth can obviously improve the appearance of your smile. What most people don't think about is what happens when a missing back tooth is not replaced. Replacing a back tooth will help you regain your normal ability to chew food and digest it properly. Each time you lose a tooth, you lose about 10% of your ability to chew. When a tooth is lost, the other teeth surrounding the space tend to move into the empty space. This contributes to an increased opportunity for decay and gum disease to begin, along with bite problems and a potential for other dental problems. Missing teeth should always be replaced - the sooner, the better.
Fixed bridges are one of the possibilities that exist for the replacement of one or more missing teeth. Other alternatives are dental implants, Maryland (bonded) bridges, partial coverage bridges, and removable partial prosthodontics.
Advantages of the fixed bridge include proven reliability and longevity. Disadvantages include cost, increased difficulty in proper cleaning by the patient, and occasionally, the necessity of preparing a tooth for an abutment (bridge support), which might not have been previously filled or even damaged.
One or more teeth can be replaced by a fixed bridge. The design of the bridge is affected by, among other factors, the number, strength, and position of the remaining teeth and the patient's ability to properly clean the completed bridge. Generally speaking, the support for the bridge should be equal to or better than the root support of what the missing teeth had.
The teeth that are to be the supports for the bridge are prepared similar to the preparation of a single crown. The tooth is made smaller by about 1 to 2 millimeters, depending on the part of the tooth being drilled. An impression is made of the prepared teeth and sent to a lab. While the bridge is being made, the prepared teeth are protected by a well-designed temporary bridge. Once the final bridge has been put in with final cement, it is not easy to get it off again without permanently damaging the porcelain and metal.
Your oral self-care must include thorough plaque removal, especially around the bridge. You doctor will show you how to properly clean it. It is important that you follow their recommended dental hygiene recare schedule. Frequent examinations are one way to protect your investment and to maintain optimal oral health.
If you have any questions about bridges, please call Omni Dental Group! (512) 250-5012
Friday, June 5, 2015
Here are 15 signs you should see a dentist:
Q: How often do I have to go to the dentist?
A: There is no one-size-fits-all dental treatment. Some people need to visit the dentist once or twice a year; others may need more visits. You are a unique individual, with a unique smile and unique needs when it comes to keeping your smile healthy.
Monday, June 1, 2015
Flossing is one of the most important steps when it comes to your oral health.
Excuse #1: Food doesn’t get stuck in my teeth
Excuse #2: I don’t know how to floss
Excuse #3: Flossing is too hard for me
Excuse #4: I don’t have time to floss
Excuse #5: Flossing hurts
Excuse #6: My teeth are too close together
While flossing does help to remove food that gets wedged between your teeth, it is not the primary reason you should be making it a part of your daily routine. Flossing helps get rid of plaque, the sticky bacterial film that forms along your gum line and between your teeth. Everyone gets plaque and it can only be removed by flossing or a cleaning from your dentist so it’s important to make it a part of your at-home routine. Flossing daily also helps to prevent gum disease and tooth loss.
Flossing correctly can be a difficult task. That doesn’t mean you should avoid it.
The American Dental Association gives these tips for flossing correctly:
- Use 18 inches of floss. Wrap most of it around the middle finger of one hand, the rest around your other middle finger.
- Grasp the string tightly between your thumb and forefinger, and use a rubbing motion to guide it between teeth.
- When the floss reaches the gum line, form a C to follow the shape of the tooth.
- Hold the strand firmly against the tooth, and move it gently up and down.
- Repeat with the other tooth, and then repeat the entire process with the rest of your teeth.
- Use fresh sections of floss as you go.
- Remember to floss between all of your teeth, including the back of your last molars to prevent gum disease and decay.
There are other tools that can be substituted for regular floss if you have trouble reaching the back of your mouth. Ask your dentist about using one of the following:
- plastic, disposable, Y-shaped flossers that allow for extra reach
- small, round brushes
- pointed, rubber tips
- wooden or plastic pics (called interdental cleaners)
Everyone should floss at least once per day, however, it is recommended that you floss twice per day.
Make it a part of your morning and night routine. Store your floss next to your toothbrush and toothpaste as a reminder so you don’t forget.
Flossing can be done on the go as well. Keep some floss in your car to use while your stuck in traffic or keep some in your desk at work to use after lunch. The most important thing is to find a time for flossing in your daily routine that works best for you!
Flossing shouldn’t be a painful experience. If your gums bleed or hurt while you are flossing, it could be a sign of a bigger problem such as gingivitis or gum disease. Even if this occurs you shouldn’t stop flossing all together.
If you brush and floss daily, the bleeding and pain should go away in less than 2 weeks. If it doesn’t, it is time to see your dentist.
Waxed or glide floss is a good alternative if your teeth are close together. A threader or loop could work for you if you have recessed gums, gaps between your teeth, or braces. If your floss shreds, this could be a sign of a cavity or another problem with your dental work. Tell your dentist if this issue is happening to you.