Oak Grove Family & Cosmetic Dentistry provides restorative dentistry options for patients facing complex dental concerns such as missing teeth. Missing teeth can affect your overall smile aesthetics as well as the functionality of your bite pattern. Additionally, if you do not replace a missing tooth, it is likely that you will experience dental shifting or even the development of a TMJ disorder.
Dr. Erika Graham is your local restorative dentist in Durham, NC. Learn more about how she can help you replace a missing tooth or several consecutive missing teeth using dental bridges below.
Dental Bridge in Durham, NC
If you are missing one or more consecutive teeth, our office can provide a dental bridge to bridge the gap in your smile left behind by a missing tooth. Dental bridges rely on the external support of your surrounding teeth in order to hold a prosthetic tooth in place of a missing tooth. Unlike partial dentures, dental bridges are not removable and thus are considered a permanent tooth replacement option.
However, in order for your dental bridge to last, you must take extra precautions to ensure there is no damage to the bridge hardware.
Dental Bridges vs. Dental Implants
Often, when patients are missing a tooth, they will be presented with two options: dental bridges or dental implants. While both are effective at replacing a missing tooth, there are differences between these two treatment options.
Dental bridges require dietary restrictions in order to protect the bridge hardware. Excessively crunchy or chewy foods can easily damage the bridge hardware. Additionally, patients with dental bridges must take extra oral hygiene precautions, ensuring that they brush and floss around and beneath the bridge hardware. Because all of the bridge hardware is completely external, food residue can get caught in the hardware and cause decay or gum disease.
Dental implants, on the other hand, require a surgical procedure. Our office will coordinate your treatment with local implant specialists and will restore your dental implant in-office. While the healing time for dental implants is much longer than the healing time for dental bridges, often patients choose this option for the long-term benefits.
The hardware of a dental implant is protected by your own soft tissues, just as your natural tooth-roots are. This means no dietary restrictions or oral hygiene hazards.
Tooth Replacement Options in Durham, NC
The best way to find the perfect tooth replacement option for you and your smile is to schedule a restorative dentistry consultation with Dr. Graham. She will evaluate your smile and offer you a treatment plan that best meets your dental health needs and budgetary goals. Schedule an appointment online today, and we look forward to helping your restore your smile soon.