Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the body, but it is not indestructible. Little things like plaque can slowly erode tooth enamel. The bacteria in plaque consumes sugar and creates acid as a byproduct. This acid eats away at enamel and creates cavities. If you do not catch these cavities in time, they can open a hole through your enamel to the pulp inside your teeth. With the enamel gone, infections can invade and destroy your tooth. Once your tooth is gone, you have to talk to your dentist about your options for replacing your old tooth.
The Economical Option: The Bridge
If you don't have a lot of money to spend on an implant, you can replace a lost tooth with a bridge. A bridge consists of both metal and ceramic components. The metal components connect to the teeth on either side of the missing tooth. To make this connection, your dentist might have to file down the anchor teeth in order to make a solid anchor. With the metal pieces in place, your dentist can connect a ceramic crown. A bridge can effectively fill in the gap left by a missing tooth, but it is important to take proper care of it.
Care for a Dental Bridge
Because of the need to file down the anchor teeth, you must brush, floss, and rinse with mouthwash regularly. The weakened enamel on the anchor teeth is susceptible to damage, and the metal anchors can create nooks and crannies for plaque to take hold in. Thus, proper hygiene becomes even more critical once you have already lost a tooth.
Besides taking meticulous care of your bridge, you also need to avoid certain foods. The metal anchors for your bridge are thin and can easily be damaged. To avoid bending or breaking the metal, you need to avoid corn on the cob, apples, caramels, taffies, and any other foods that can put strain on your teeth.
A dental bridges is a good way to replace a missing tooth, but it is not a perfect solution. Even though dental bridges cost less than implants, they are still not cheap. If you are going to spend the money to get a bridge, it makes sense to take care of it so that it doesn't fail. With a little extra attention to your dental hygiene, and a little caution with the foods you eat, you can protect your crown and your smile for years to come. Talk to a dental group like Able Dental to learn more about bridges and find out whether they'd be right for you.