No one likes to think that they may need some medical treatment in the future, but we cannot ignore that as we age, parts of our bodies that we are able to rely on in our youth suddenly start to ache, pain, and then fall apart! Many of us reach the time when our children are starting to think about braces and orthotics when we start to think more seriously about our own teeth, and consider whether or not our teeth need a little tender love and care. It can often come as a complete surprise at that point to hear from our dentist that in fact, our teeth need quite as much attention as that of the younger generation! When words such as dentures and fixed dental bridge start getting bandied around, it can be easy to feel a little overwhelmed. After all, what do all of these strange dental terms mean?
Well, put simply, dentures are the false teeth that dentist create for patients who have lost several of their teeth and want to be able to talk, eat, and laugh completely normally without thinking about it. They can be made to look and feel exactly as the rest of the patient’s teeth, and before you know it, the patient can get back to their life just as normal. In many cases, the patient’s friends and family does not even realize that the dentures are not real teeth! Dentures can completely revitalize a person’s outlook, giving them the chance to eat and drink properly for the first time, for some people, for many years giving them their life back.
A dental bridge, on the other hand, is a restorative measure that is chosen by a dentist before a patient has lost sufficient teeth to require dentures, and hopes to preserve some of the other teeth so that the patient may not need them. Where there is a gap in the tooth line, a false tooth is created to match its neighbours, and then a ‘bridge’ is created to anchor the false tooth to the teeth that surround the gap. There are two types of dental bridge: temporary, or one that the patient is able to take out whenever they want, or a fixed or permanent dental bridge, which is one that is put into place expertly by a dentist so that it does not move around too much and cause ulcers or rubbings in the mouth.
A fixed dental bridge is an excellent choice for a person who wants to prevent any future teeth from falling out or becoming damaged, and although dentures are often considered to be the dental treatment for the elderly, a person of almost any age can receive a fixed dental bridge. Someone in their twenties could be in a sporting accident and require a fixed dental bridge; another could be in a DIY accident in their thirties and need a fixed dental bridge; and a person could endure some tooth decay and need it removed in their forties, and then their dentist will recommend a fixed dental bridge. It is one of the few dental treatments that will touch people of absolutely any age, gender, or general health, and you may find that a fixed dental bridge could give you the teeth that you want back! After all, it does not just improve your ability to eat and drink, but it also gives you the full smile that you used to have back. Why not discuss whether a fixed dental bridge could help you with your dentist?