If you’re missing a tooth or a small group of teeth, it can really keep you from smiling when you look in the mirror. Diana Millard, DMD at Complete Dentistry of Midland in Midland, North Carolina, has an excellent solution: bridges. A dental bridge can fill the holes in your smile in a natural-looking way so you can have the full smile you deserve. Call the office or schedule an appointment online today.
A bridge is a tooth replacement that can give you a natural-looking prosthetic in cases where you're missing at least one tooth. Bridges are an alternative to complete or partial dentures when the gap in your teeth is smaller. There are two general types of bridges, removable and fixed:
A removable bridge includes a metal frame and at least one prosthetic tooth. The metal frame attaches to the natural teeth on either side, using them for support. You remove this kind of bridge for daily cleaning.
A fixed bridge is sometimes also called a permanent bridge. Fixed bridges include prosthetic teeth, usually dental implants, and crowns. Dr. Millard uses a dental-grade cement to set the replacement teeth and crown in place. The crowns cover the natural teeth on either side of your prosthetic teeth, allowing for extra support and stability.
Generally, fixed bridges are the more popular type of bridge because they're more stable.
If you have a removable bridge, it's important that you take it out every day to clean it. You can use a denture solution or simply brush it with lukewarm water.
If you have a fixed bridge, you need to simply keep up your normal dental care routine. Brush and floss every day, but be extra cautious when flossing your bridge so that you don't use too much force and dislodge the crowns.
It's important to continue your twice-yearly visits to see Dr. Millard. She will check the stability of your bridge at that time and can make any necessary adjustments if needed.
Bridges, especially fixed ones, are quite stable and will generally allow you to eat the same way that you normally do. However, it's best to avoid taking chances by staying away from super-hard foods. Avoid chewing on popcorn kernels — a wise idea under any circumstances — and don't chew on ice.
Dr. Millard can give you some eating guidelines to follow immediately after you get your new bridge. You may need to be more cautious with what you eat until you've become fully accustomed to your new bridge. Many patients find it easier to stick with a soft and semi-soft food diet until Dr. Millard makes any bridge adjustments needed.
Want to bridge the gap for a full smile? Call Complete Dentistry of Midland or book your appointment online today.