If you’re missing teeth and you’re not a baby, you’ve probably found that people don’t think it’s too cute. Unfortunately, once your adult teeth have grown in, it seems harder to get respect in your daily life with a toothless smile. The good news is that while tooth loss is surprisingly common in adults around Midland, Dr. Bell can help solve your problems. Whether it is from tooth decay, gum disease, a failed root canal, or an accident, many adults are missing teeth somewhere in their smile. In fact, nearly 7 in 10 adults have lost at least one of their teeth by the time they turn 44, and by the time we turn 74, about 1/4 have no permanent teeth left at all!
If you are among this part of the Midland Texas population, you know the difficulties that follow when you lose a tooth. This includes the impact on how you speak, your ability to chew, what you eat, and your self-esteem may also take a hit, especially if the missing tooth now causes an unsightly gap in your smile. If left untreated for a time, a missing tooth may also cause your other teeth to shift, leading to a painful condition known as TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder), or increase your risk for gum disease and tooth decay.
Before you panic, know that there are lots of options for Dr. Bell to help fill in the gap a missing tooth leaves behind. Fixed dental bridges are among the more common choices and work exactly how they sound, by bridging or filling in the space caused by a lost tooth. Fixed bridges are just that – fixed – and cannot be taken in and out of the mouth and are typically held in place via crowns on either side, bonding cement, metal substructures, or dental implants.
Made from porcelain, porcelain-over-metal, metal alloys, or gold, a bridge uses neighboring teeth to anchor one or more artificial teeth in between them. Although there are several types of fixed bridges, there are three main types:
The cost of a bridge depends on a variety of different things, including your insurance coverage and the type of bridge you choose. The good news is that they can last anywhere from five to twenty years if well cared for. We suggest returning to your Midland dentist, Dr. Randell Bell for regular checkups and practice good oral hygiene on your own to help keep the area clean.
If you are worried about the potential cost of a bridge, or you don’t have dental insurance, we are happy to offer flexible financing options to help our patients get the care they need.