A fixed dental bridge is a permanent (non-removable) prosthodontic dental appliance used to replace missing teeth in your mouth. Dental bridges fill in the gaps left by missing teeth by using the teeth next to the space as anchors. With the same material options as crowns, bridges are a great option for replacing missing teeth. Bridges generally take 2-3 visits for completion and follow many of the same steps involved in doing a dental crown.
What to Expect When Getting a Fixed Dental Bridge
Your first dental bridge appointment will involve preparation of the teeth holding the bridge in place (abutments). The teeth anchoring the bridge in place will be getting crowns to which the pontic (tooth replacement) will be held. An impression is then taken for the dental laboratory so that they may make a bridge to custom fit your mouth. We will then make you a temporary bridge.
Your second appointment will be for removal of your temporary bridge and the try in of your permanent bridge. Once the temporary is removed, we will evaluate your new bridge and check for proper fit, function and esthetics. We will make sure your bridge fits perfectly and you are happy with the way it feels and looks. The Fixed bridge will then be permanently cemented in to your mouth.
Why Choose a Fixed Bridge
Dental fixed bridges are a great option for replacing a missing tooth and can last for years. Some patients are not a candidate for implants due to site or health concerns, making a fixed bridge an ideal option. For patients who need crowns on teeth next to a space a fixed bridge is often a more logical and economical option. Many patients also find it difficult to tolerate partial dentures, leaving fixed bridges as the ideal choice for them.
Caring For your Fixed Bridge
Bridges, like crowns and fillings, require proper maintenance and home care. Regular cleanings, brushing and flossing underneath the pontic are important steps to help prevent cavities on the abutment teeth. It is possible to get a cavity around a bridge, and bridges do need to be replaced over time. This can be due to decay or wear and tear of the materials making up the bridge. Teeth supporting a bridge are also susceptible to fracture due to the increased pressure on the individual teeth. Maintenance of your bridge at home, along with good habits and diet, can help to increase the longevity of your bridge so that it can work in your mouth for years to come.