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You may have some missing teeth, and if they are in a prominent position in your smile, it may make life slightly more difficult for you than it should be. You may have gotten tired of trying to talk or smile without showing too many of your teeth. You may be sick of covering your mouth when you laugh as well as when you cough. And it may be getting old looking for a hiding place when someone gets out their phone to take pictures.

Filling in the gaps in your grin can have several advantages. A complete set of teeth will help you to eat and speak more effectively. If you have missing teeth, plaque, food debris and bacteria have extra places to collect in your mouth, and contribute to tooth decay and gum disease. Plus, your remaining teeth will have room to shift out of alignment, which can cause damage to your teeth. And of course, you will feel much more comfortable talking with people in work or social settings. People will talk to you, without staring at your incomplete set of teeth.

There are three major options for replacing missing teeth: implants, dentures and bridges. Implants are very popular tooth replacements. They look and feel natural and they can be brushed and flossed, just as you do your natural teeth. Because implants are placed directly into your jaw bone, they stimulate the growth of the bone, strengthening your jaw and securing your implant. However, to be a good candidate for implants, you must have healthy gums and enough jaw bone to support them. There are certain medical conditions and medications that may mean that implants are not for you. Before moving ahead with implants, you will want to talk with our dentist, Dr. Katie Lippas about your medical history and personal habits to see if implants will work for you. Dentures are less expensive than implants, and require no surgery. However, they do need to be removed to be cleaned, and not everyone is comfortable with the way dentures feel.

A great compromise between the two is a dental bridge. Like implants, a bridge is permanent but does not require surgery to be placed. While it is is non-invasive like dentures, it can still be easily brushed. To place a bridge, the dentist will sue the two healthy teeth at each end of the space in your smile as anchors. The enamel will be removed from these teeth and impressions of the area will be used to create the bridge and the crowns to hold them in place. If necessary, you will be given a temporary bridge and crowns to wear while your permanent dental work is created. When it is ready, the dentist will cement the crowns bridge in place, providing you with a replacement that can last up to ten years. Bridges can be used to replace a single tooth, or multiple teeth in a single row.

Whether or not your new bridge will last ten years is up to you. Plaque and food debris can still build up on your bridge and crowns, leading to oral health problems. Your crowns need healthy gums to support your bridge, and are still vulnerable to tooth decay at the gum line. So, you still need to brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once a day. If you experience problems flossing around your bridge, you may want to try using a water flosser or a floss threader.

If you are interested in filling out your smile with a dental bridge in Dallas, Texas, give Walnut Glen Family Dental a call at 214-368-1192 to schedule your appointment.