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Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Specialists in Dental Implants

Dental Bridge with Implants

implant anchored bridgeA dental bridge is a customized dental prosthetic used to restore a missing tooth. In traditional use, the bridge consisted of two dental crowns on either end with a false tooth between. The dental crowns are designed to fit over two healthy teeth; these are known as the anchor teeth. For some patients, this system would not work because they are missing one or both of those healthy anchor teeth. Today, we can surgically place an anchored post, known as a dental implant on one or both sides to serve this purpose. Our staff at Malmquist Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery can review the status of your teeth, or lack of, and discuss a treatment plan that is right for your needs, which may include the combination of implants and a dental prosthetic bridge to restore your smile.

Missing teeth are problematic. In years past, many people accepted missing teeth as a necessary step in the aging process, but this standard came with a cascade of negative effects. When a patient loses a tooth or has one pulled because it is unhealthy, there are some immediate effects and some that come with time.

Immediate Effects of a Missing Tooth:

•  Bone Loss: When a patient loses a tooth, there is an immediate and continued loss of bone material. Our bone requires motion and exercise to stay healthy and robust. Our jawbone receives this exercise through constant fleeting touches of our teeth to food or teeth to teeth. As we apply pressure to our teeth, that energy transfers through the root and to the bone keeping the bone healthy. When we lose the tooth and root, the bone can no longer get the motion it needs, and it will then respond immediately with atrophy, or reduction of bone. The evidence of this may not be apparent with the loss of one tooth, but after losing multiple teeth, you will begin to see changes to your facial shape, resulting in an appearance that we have come to associate as older age.
•  Changes to Your Diet: When a patient loses a tooth, they often make changes to their diet, they omit certain eating foods and become wary of even more. Changes to your diet can have a cascade of effects, including your nutrition and body changes.

Long Term Effects of a Missing Tooth:

•  Uneven Wear of Other Teeth A common result of missing teeth in patients are choosing to chew on the other side, the side that has better teeth. Choosing to chew on only one side of your mouth predominately will cause uneven wear to those teeth.
•  Neighboring Teeth Shifting: Missing teeth leaves room for neighboring teeth to shift. Many patients don’t understand why the extra room is a problem, some will even point out that dentists sometimes choose to remove teeth to allow for extra room. The difference in this scenario is controlled movement versus uncontrolled movement. When a dentist orders the removal of a tooth, they may use spacers or other orthodontia for controlled movement. When you are simply missing a tooth, the teeth have the freedom to shift freely as they do. This can result in changes to your jaw alignment and even result in jaw dysfunction known as TMJ disorder.

Having your teeth restored is best for your oral health and will even impact your medical health for the better.

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1750 SW Harbor Way, Suite # 100, Portland, OR. 97201


Mon - Thu: 8:00am–4:30pm
Friday: 7:00am–2:00pm
Saturday: By Appointment Only