There are many of us who lose one or more teeth during the course of a lifetime, but fortunately there are also a variety of ways to cure the problem of missing teeth. Quite a few remedies and options are available, whether the tooth is knocked out by accident, has to be taken out because it is cracked and fractured beyond repair, or it rots out and has to be pulled.
Two of the most popular ways to replace missing teeth are bridges and crowns. Bridges are dental devices that are created, molded, or sculpted by the dentist or a dental expert to resemble actual natural teeth. These are one of the most common types of so-called false teeth, and they can be permanently attached inside the mouth. They are often made from high-quality porcelain or advanced dental polymer substances, and they are durable and less likely than older inferior types of fixes to come loose or fracture. The best quality bridges look so real that most people cannot tell they are not natural teeth, whereas some of the more economical models may be easier to detect but still generally go undetected if they are properly installed and maintained.
A bridge can connect the missing teeth by spanning the space in the mouth between other healthy teeth, and that is why they are referred to as a “bridge.” In order to use a bridge, therefore, the missing teeth and adjacent teeth need to be of a particular type and in an appropriate location inside the mouth. If a middle tooth on the side of the mouth, for example, gets knocked out leaving a gap – but the other teeth along that side are healthy – then a bridge is probably a good solution. The manufactured tooth will fill the missing tooth gap and then the bridge will span across in front and behind it to be mounted onto and supported by those healthy teeth neighboring it on either side.
The other method that is often employed is to use a crown or similar feature. These are caps or tops that are glued or otherwise attached to a healthy tooth. If part of a tooth breaks loose, for example, a crown can be placed over it to fill the blank space. Crowns have to be carefully measured and sculpted so that they will fit into the gap of the missing portion of the tooth, but new technologies virtually ensure a good tight fit. After the dentist installs the bridge or crown he or she may also need to adjust it or shape it a little bit so that it bites comfortably against the teeth that are above or below it. Modern dental technology is so sophisticated that some dentists can replace missing teeth, shape the new bridge or replacement crown for a perfect fit, and then send the patient home with new teeth within a matter of just a few hours.
With proper care these new teeth will last for years and provide the same level of oral health that one might expect from a natural tooth. So if you happen to be missing any teeth, your dentist has several excellent options for replacing them just like new.