One tool in Dr. Smith’s arsenal is the dental bridge. He may prescribe this option when a patient has a gap in his or her smile due to missing teeth, and healthy teeth exist on both sides of the gap. A bridge consists of artificial teeth connected to a gum-colored plastic base. Crowns are placed on healthy teeth adjacent to where the bridge goes, and the bridge snaps onto those teeth (also called abutments) to hold it in place.
There are two types of bridges:
- Removable Bridges. As the name implies, patients can take these out of their mouth at any time — usually to clean them and before they go to sleep.
- Fixed Bridges. These bridges are anchored permanently to their abutments, either by snapping onto crowns attached to the abutments, or by bonding. Because they are secured firmly in place, they are more stable and feel more natural. If a fixed bridge ever needs to be removed, a dentist will need to remove it.
Dr. Smith will evaluate your teeth to determine which bridge will work best in your case. If the intended abutments are weak, small, or damaged, he probably will recommend the removable bridge as puts less stress on your natural teeth.
Even artificial teeth need to be cleaned regularly! Removable bridges may be soaked in a cleaning solution and brushed after they are removed from the mouth. Fixed bridges should be cleaned just like natural teeth. Flossing is especially important to prevent decay from developing between the abutment and the artificial teeth, and to keep food particles from becoming lodged into the appliance.
What to Expect
Before receiving your bridge, you’ll need to come in so Dr. Smith can take an impression of your teeth. The impression will be sent to a dental laboratory that will make the bridge. Once it is ready, you’ll come in for a second appointment where the fit will be evaluated and (in the case of fixed bridges) the appliance will be attached to your teeth.
Schedule an Appointment with Your Grand Prairie Dentist
Dr. Quinn Smith is a well-respected and highly experienced general, restorative, and family dentist in Grand Prairie, TX. He takes a patient-first approach that starts from the moment patients enter our Pecan Tree Dental office, and he offers a three-year guarantee on all dental work that he performs. Whether you and your family are new or returning patients, you can schedule a consultation or your next appointment with Dr. Smith by contacting us at (972) 262-5111. We proudly welcome patients from Grand Prairie, as well as surrounding areas including Arlington, South Dallas, Cedar Hill, and Duncanville.