Complete Your Smile with a Dental Bridge
Missing teeth can obviously have a negative impact on the appearance of your smile. More importantly, however, these gaps can impede normal bite function and compromise your oral health. Patients with missing teeth can benefit from a dental bridge at our Plano, TX, practice. A traditional bridge consists of two dental crowns (which are supported by the adjacent teeth) and prosthetic teeth (or pontics) that fill the gap in between them. Dr. Christine Hopkins offers traditional and implant-supported bridges at Advanced Dental Center. As a member of the American College of Prosthodontists, Dr. Hopkins has received specialized training in dental restorations. With a focus on cosmetics, she can deliver results that are both functional and beautiful.
Benefits of Dental Bridges
In addition to enhancing the appearance of your smile, dental bridges offer a wide range of other benefits. For example, they can:
- Prevent surrounding teeth from shifting
- Improve bite function, making it easier to chew
- Improve speech problems caused by missing teeth
- Add volume and support for facial structures, reducing the appearance of hollowed cheeks
Some of our patients opt for implant-supported bridges which offer even more advantages. These restorations are connected to dental implants rather than the natural teeth. Unlike traditional bridges, implant-supported bridges replace the portion of a tooth which lies below the gumline. This helps to prevent bone resorption – a natural but damaging effect of tooth loss.
Is a Bridge Right for Me?
Bridges are designed to replace one to three consecutive teeth. Those who are missing more than that may be better suited for alternative options, such as dentures.
As a highly trained prosthodontist, Dr. Hopkins can provide dental bridges that are both functional and beautiful.
Patients considering dental bridges should have healthy teeth and gums, free from periodontal disease and severe decay. For traditional treatment, the adjacent teeth must be strong and healthy so they can serve as proper anchors for your restoration. During an appointment at our practice, Dr. Hopkins can help determine if a dental bridge is right for you. She can also provide any necessary preliminary treatment.
The Dental Bridge Procedure
Traditional dental bridge placement can often be completed in just two office visits.
During the first appointment, Dr. Hopkins needs to resize the neighboring teeth. To do this, small amounts of enamel are removed to make room for the bridge and prepare the teeth for bonding.
After the teeth are prepared, impressions are taken so your final bridge can be fabricated. While your restoration is being made, Dr. Hopkins will likely place a temporary bridge to protect the teeth in the meantime. This will restore your appearance and bite function.
When the final bridge is complete, you will be scheduled for another visit. Dr. Hopkins removes the temporary bridge and tries in the final one. After assessing the shade, fit, and comfort of your new restoration, she bonds it into place using dental cement. The result is a complete, beautiful, fully functional smile.
Those who choose implant-supported bridges will require a few more steps. First, an oral surgeon places the implants in the jaw. After four to six months of healing time, connector pieces are added. Finally, the bridge is attached using dental cement or screw-retention.
Contact Advanced Dental Center Today
If missing teeth are affecting your quality of life, schedule an appointment at our Plano practice. We can help you weigh your options and determine the most effective treatment for your situation. To help patients afford treatment, we offer flexible payment plans through CareCredit® financing. Call us today at (972) 781-0209.
"I have been going to Dr. Hopkins for years now. I was looking for a general dentist but also a doctor that also had a prosthodontist background so any major work that I would require in the future could be done by the doctor who has regularly worked on me. Dr Hopkins has met and even exceeded my expectations in oral care."Julie W.