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Taking care of your teeth is essential for ensuring that they remain strong and healthy. However, even despite your best efforts, tooth loss can still occur. While gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss, this devastating event can occur as a result of issues such as a fall, a sports injury, or other traumatic facial injury. Issues like bruxism can also lead to tooth loss. Losing even just one tooth can have a significant impact on your entire life. New Heights Dental & Braces can help by replacing missing teeth with a bridge.

What Happens When You Lose a Tooth?

Tooth loss has several significant effects on your life. These effects include:
•  The quality of your smile is decreased. This can significantly impact your confidence.
•  Eating becomes more difficult. If you cannot chew properly, your digestion suffers which can then have a serious effect on your nutrition.
•  You may have trouble speaking properly.
•  Your teeth may become harder to keep clean, which can increase your risk for cavities and gum disease.
•  Excessive pressure can be placed on the adjacent teeth, increasing their risk for chipping or fracturing.
•  Your jawbone begins to weaken and change shape. This then leads to your adjacent teeth shifting out of alignment, throwing off your bite and causing issues like bruxism and temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD.

Bridges for Tooth Loss

A bridge is a common traditional treatment for replacing a missing tooth. This type of restoration can replace up to three consecutive missing teeth. There are a few different types of bridges, including cantilever, Maryland or resin bonded and fixed. Fixed bridges are the most common type. A fixed bridge is typically made from a solid piece of ceramic or porcelain. The restoration consists of your replacement tooth, called the pontic tooth that fills the empty space left behind by your missing tooth. The pontic tooth has two dental crowns, one on each side. The crowns are there to anchor the bridge in place over the teeth adjacent to the empty space. Called the abutment teeth, these two teeth provide the support for your bridge, holding it securely in place.

The Process of Getting a Bridge

Getting a bridge generally takes two separate appointments. Your first appointment involves preparing the abutment teeth and taking impressions. When we prepare the abutment teeth, we remove a portion of enamel from each one to reduce their size. The abutment teeth need to be made smaller so that the bridge can sit comfortably and naturally in with the rest of your teeth. After the teeth are prepared, we take an impression, which is sent off to our dental lab. There, your bridge is designed and fabricated. It can take up to two weeks for the bridge to be made and then sent back. During this time, a temporary bridge is placed in your mouth, providing protecting for your abutment teeth. When your bridge is ready, you have your second appointment. We check the bridge to make sure that it fits and your bite is natural. If no adjustments are needed, it is bonded into place on the abutment teeth with a special dental cement.

Why Get a Bridge?

There are several benefits to getting a bridge.
•  Your smile is restored, giving you a boost of confidence.
•  You can bite and chew properly, which improves your digestion and nutrition.
•  Your speech is restored.
•  Your adjacent teeth are held in alignment, preventing shifting.

If you have suffered tooth loss, a dental bridge can help to restore the functions of your missing tooth, improving your quality of life. Call New Heights Dental & Braces our office at (210) 828-5300 to schedule your consultation today.
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New Heights Dental & Braces

7700 Broadway
San Antonio, TX 78209-3232

Convenient parking is available directly in front of our office.

T: (210) 828-5300
F: (210) 828-3205

We look forward to seeing you smile!
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New Heights Dental & Braces, 7700 Broadway, Suite 102, San Antonio, TX 78209-3232 ^ (210) 828-5300 ^ ^ 5/27/2021 ^ Key Phrases: dentist ^ dentist ^