Dental Tips Blog


Bridging the Gap

Posted in Dental Bridges

Dental bridges literally bridge the gap created by one or more missing teeth. A dental bridge is made up of a false tooth (or teeth) in between two crowns. The crowns act as anchors supported by existing teeth to hold the bridge in place. People get dental bridges for different reasons. Esthetically, they can restore your smile and maintain the natural shape of your face. Practically speaking, dental bridges help to restore the ability to properly chew and speak by distributing the forces in your bite properly. Dental bridges also help to hold your existing teeth in place so that they don’t shift position and cause other oral problems.

While multiple visits to your Duluth dentist may be necessary, you will start with two basic procedures. For the first one, your “anchor” teeth will be prepared by removing a portion of the enamel for the crown to be fitted to. Impressions of your teeth will be made so that your dentist will have a model from which to create your bridge. A temporary bridge will be given to you to wear to protect your exposed teeth and gums. During your next visit, your temporary bridge will be removed so that they permanent bridge can be placed and adjusted for a proper fit. Any further visits (other than your regularly scheduled cleanings, of course) will depend on how your bridge placement is working for you.

With consistent good oral hygiene, your dental bridge can last fifteen years or longer. Most dental insurance plans will cover a percentage of your bridge procedure, which is a huge benefit to most people. If you have missing teeth and would like more information about a dental bridge, please call us. We are here to bridge the gap from a less than stellar smile to a radiant one.

Posted on behalf of Nukoa Family Dentistry



The Importance of Tooth Replacement

Posted in Dental Implants

The majority of Americans will lose one or more of their natural teeth at some point in their life.  Missing teeth can have a negative impact on a person’s appearance and many patients choose to replace missing teeth to restore their smile and boost their self-confidence. Even if you are not bothered by the appearance of one or more missing teeth, replacing missing teeth with dental implants or another tooth replacement alternative is important to preserve your both your oral health and your overall health.

Missing teeth impact oral health in several ways.  First, other teeth will tend to migrate and shift into the space left by the missing teeth.  This can affect your bite which can lead to problems with your jaw including TMJ (pain in the jaw joint).

Missing teeth can also lead to bone loss in the jaw.  Chewing action naturally stimulates bone production in the jaw and when a tooth is missing, bone loss can occur in the area of the missing tooth.  The jaw bone will continue to deteriorate and over time, the person’s jaw will become noticeable smaller.  Adjacent teeth can also become compromises by the weakened jaw bone.

In addition to oral health, missing teeth can compromise your overall health.  Missing teeth make it more difficult to chew and to eat certain food.  Studies of denture wearers have shown a significantly lower level of overall health that is usually attributed to avoiding certain types of hard to eat foods and eating only soft or mashed foods.

There are many excellent alternatives for replacing missing teeth.  Dental implants are an outstanding option that look and function just like natural teeth.  If you are missing one or more teeth, talk to you dentist about the best tooth replacement alternative for your situation.

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