When you lose a tooth it's very important to replace the missing tooth with something to maintain the space the lost tooth occupied. If you don't, you teeth will naturally start drifting to fill the space - both from the side and also from above or below (if you lose a tooth on your lower jaw, the tooth on your upper jaw above it will try to elongate and fill the hole). If that happens, your bite degrades, and your remaining teeth can start to wear down and break or crack because the chewing forces are hitting the remaining teeth incorrectly. Ironically, many folks chose not to replace or even save a tooth to save money, then end up over their lifetime having to spend twenty times that cost replacing/removing the remaining teeth as they are damaged by pressures created by the drifting process.
There are several ways to replace a missing tooth or a couple of teeth right next to each other - implant supported crowns, traditional fixed bridges, implant-supported bridges, removable partial dentures, and implant-supported removable partial dentures. Bridges replace one or two adjacent missing teeth to prevent tooth movement, improve your chewing, speaking, and appearance. Fixed and implant-supported fixed bridges can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain, zirconia, or a combination of materials based on the appearance the patient wants. Removable bridges, called removable partial dentures, must be taken in and out daily and cleaned overnight just like a full denture, while fixed bridges require only normal brushing/flossing like regular teeth. At Dallas Laser Dentistry, Dr. Mary Swift and Dr. Alana Reifer can help patients who have missing teeth by placing a removable or permanent bridge to restore their smile and protect their remaining teeth (and pocketbook).
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"The staff and Mary are super friendly and professional. I felt like they had my best interest in mind and top of the line equipment. Plus they have massage chairs for dentist chairs!"- A.D. / Google / Apr 21, 2016
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Bridges can be used on any patient who wants to replace one or two adjacent missing teeth. Dr. Swift and Dr. Reifer will discuss the options, including materials and styles of bridges. They will discuss the benefits and drawbacks of removable partial dentures and fixed bridges to help the patient decide what will be best for them.
What to Expect
Using advanced digital imaging, Dr. Swift or Dr. Reifer will take impressions of your teeth after preparing the adjacent teeth that anchor the bridge and then create a custom bridge. Once the bridge is created by the lab, they will check for fit and appearance before permanently bonding the bridge the bridge. You'll be given detailed instructions on how to care for your bridge. Patients should return regularly to have their bridge checked and professionally cleaned.
Plan Your Procedure
Bridge Limited Warranty?
Removable or Fixed?
To replace a missing tooth, patients may choose a removable bridge, also known as a partial denture, or a permanent bridge that attached either to adjacent teeth or if no teeth, to implants. The removable bridge can be taken out by the patient to clean, but a permanent bridge is fixed in place. The permanent bridge has a stronger foundation, so it doesn’t limit what the patient can eat and it can be cleaned just like the patient’s natural teeth. The decision is usually made based on the patient’s lifestyle and financial situation.
While bridges were made from metals like gold amalgam, modern bridges can be made from porcelain, zirconia, or other materials that more closely resembles natural teeth. Porcelain and zirconia bridges are made to match the shade and color of the patient’s natural teeth.