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Tooth loss affects more than your appearance - it can change the way you eat, chew, speak, and the way the rest of your teeth is positioned. One of the most popular procedures for correcting tooth loss is a dental bridge or partial denture, which is a device that attaches prosthetic teeth to adjacent natural teeth. A well-made dental bridge should fill out your mouth and provide lip and cheek support, so your facial structure and natural teeth alignment are preserved in its pre-tooth loss condition.
At Dental Care of Beverly Hills, we offer patients the option of fixed (permanently attached) or removable bridges.
Fixed bridges, which are preferred by patients who would like more chewing strength, are applied by either placing crowns on the abutment teeth or by bonding the prosthetic teeth directly onto the abutment teeth. This can only be removed by the dentist, so it cannot be taken out and cleaned.
Removable bridges are attached to the teeth with metal clasps or by precision attachments. These can be taken out and cleaned, but don't offer the stability of fixed bridges.
The reality is that tooth loss is much more than a cosmetic concern. It has real consequences on dental health - since teeth were designed to complement each other, a missing tooth can cause uneven pressure on the existing teeth and increase chances of injury to the gum area, which can result in a number of potentially harmful disorders. Without a full set of teeth to absorb the rigors of eating and chewing, the remaining teeth are at much greater risk of chipping, cracking, breaking, and moving out of alignment. The risk of gum disease is multiplied, as well as the risk of developing a speech disorder - because teeth are integral to creating the proper sounds we use to speak clearly, tooth loss can profoundly distort your speech in the most unexpected ways.
The attachment of your dental bridge usually takes at least two appointments to complete. First, the teeth on either side of the gap will be prepared by having a small amount of the enamel and dentin removed. To ensure a correctly aligned bite and to match the opposing tooth, impressions of your teeth are made and sent to a lab where your bridge will be constructed and customized. On the next appointment, the brand new bridge is fitted and attached - and as long as the fit is perfect, a follow up appointment for further adjustment should be unnecessary.
Maintaining your bridge involves developing good everyday dental hygiene, such as regular brushing and flossing. This will keep the bridge and surrounding teeth clean, which is not only beneficial to preserving the condition of your bridge, but to maintaining the health and strength of your existing teeth.
Dr. Ken Lalezarian has been providing excellent dental care to the community of Beverly Hills and Los Angeles for over 35 years, having successfully placed high quality, long lasting bridges in thousands of dental reconstruction patients throughout his career. His tradition of excellence in producing natural looking results has earned him the distinction of being one of the most in-demand reconstructive dentists in all of Southern California, with patients coming from as far as Santa Monica and Malibu to request his services.
If you would like to know more about how a dental bridge can help maintain and even improve your dental health, or if you would like to make an appointment, call Dental Care of Beverly Hills at (310) 275-0838 or fill out our contact request form and our representative will be happy to help you as soon as possible.