Missing teeth can cause a long list of problems. A gap between your teeth may not seem like a big deal, but ignoring the space left by a lost tooth can cause permanent damage to the surrounding teeth. It can even affect your bite and ability to speak normally. Thankfully, there are a variety of options to fill that space and protect the rest of your oral health.

What will happen if I ignore a missing tooth?

Many people do not consider missing teeth to be a problem, especially if a tooth is lost in the back of the mouth. After all, as the old saying goes – out of sight, out of mind. Right? Wrong.

Each tooth has a place. If a tooth goes missing, it can cause damage to the rest of your mouth's structure. With no tooth to maintain this structure, neighboring teeth may begin to shift and become weak. This can affect the way you bite and chew. It may also affect your ability to speak normally. Over time, the tension of your bite may weaken, which could lead to TMJ problems such as headaches, jaw aches, and more.

What can I do to restore a missing tooth?

There are a variety of options out there for those who have gaps from missing teeth. One of the most common treatment options is a bridge.

A bridge is an artificial tooth (usually a porcelain crown) that are cemented into place by using the teeth on either side. This artificial tooth acts as a "bridge" across the space left by a missing tooth. These bridges are sturdy and durable and can restore your smile, both cosmetically and functionally.

How is a bridge placed?

First, a crown will be created to fill the gap in your teeth. These crowns can be made of porcelain bonded to metal alloy, gold alloy, or with ceramic material. Your crown will be made to match the shape, size, and color of your natural tooth.

After the crown has been created, Dr. Spees will prepare your surrounding teeth for the procedure. Crowns will be placed over the adjacent teeth as "posts" for the bridge. Finally, your permanent crown will be cemented onto the adjacent teeth. Once your treatment is completed, you can enjoy your full, beautiful smile!

If you think you may be a candidate for dental bridges, contact our Zionsville or Lebanon office to schedule an appointment. Our Zionsville location can be reached at 317-873-2206, and our Lebanon location can be reached at 765-482-6672. Together we can decide if a dental bridge is the best option for you.

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