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That gap in your mouth may make you feel self-conscious. Missing teeth can put a damper on your appearance, but there are other things to consider. Missing teeth give plaque a place to accumulate and bacteria a place to breed. Additionally, the space left by missing teeth will give your remaining teeth room to shift, and that can lead to gum disease and tooth loss. You may also find it difficult to speak or to chew your food.

One option for replacing missing teeth is a dental bridge. A bridge is created by reducing the size of the tooth on each end of the gap. The dentist will take an impression of the area and send that impression to a lab which will craft the bridge. When the bridge is ready, it will be attached to crowns placed on the two teeth, and “bridge” the gap.

If properly cared for, a bridge can last ten years or more. However, it needs to be brushed, just as your natural teeth do, and your dentist will want to inspect your bridge during your regular appointments. You can also use specialized brushes and floss threaders to keep your bridge clean. Plaque and tartar are a threat to your bridge, just as they are to your natural teeth. Your bridge can also be damaged by chewing on ice, pens, pencils or other objects.

If you are interested in learning if a dental bridge is a good tooth restoration option for you, or if it is time for your cleaning and exam, our dentist, Dr. Shirin Mashhoon would love to see you at our office. Contact Ninth Street Dental in Durham, North Carolina, at 919-286-9090 to make an appointment.