Missing teeth can be a real pain, affecting bite and appearance and causing speech impediments, pain and increased risk of periodontal disease, among other things.
However there are a number of things that dentists can do to rectify the problem, which can be caused by cavities, gum disease, or injuries, Dr Mike M Deldar reports in the Noblesville Daily Times.
He focuses on dental bridges, which cross the gap created by one or more missing teeth, as a possible treatment option.
Dr Deldar explains two abutment crowns are placed on the teeth either side of the gap and a false tooth, called a pontic, is put in-between.
There are three different kinds of fixed dental bridges, the most common bring a traditional bridge, which is used when there is a single gap between two teeth and is made of porcelain fused to metal or ceramics.
A cantilever bridge is used when the adjacent teeth are only on one side - the two abutment crowns are positions side-by-side next to the missing tooth space and the pontic is then connected to them.
Lastly, a resin-bonded bridge is made of plastic teeth and gums supported by a metal framework, with metal wings on each side bonded to the patient's teeth.
Dentures are another option for people who have lost their teeth, but are commonly used for those who have no teeth left at all.
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