Fixed Bridges

Fixed bridges are non-removable appliances. A dental fixed bridge is an excellent system to replace missing teeth.

There are several different types of dental bridges.  The most common type is the “traditional bridge”.  This type of bridge is usually constructed of porcelain fused to a metal structure.

This style of bridge is mounted to two crowns that are placed over anchoring teeth (abutment teeth) at each end of the gap.  The bridge is secured to the crowns, and mounts pontics (artificial teeth), which are constructed to replace the missing teeth.

A bridge will replace one or more missing teeth. Your dentist will discuss the best options with you for your particular case, and help you to determine whether a conventional bridge is best for you.

Properly constructed dental bridges are quite durable and will last many years.  Like your natural teeth and any other form of dental appliances, they are susceptible to normal wear, though, so they may require occasional maintenance, including being “re-cemented” or replaced.

Reasons to choose a fixed bridge:

  • Fill space where teeth are missing.
  • Restore chewing and speaking ability.
  • Restore / enhance your smile.
  • Maintain natural facial shape.
  • Prevent adjacent teeth from drifting toward a gap.
  • Upgrade your dental appliance from a removable partial denture to a securely mounted “permanent” one.

What’s the process of getting a fixed bridge?

Placing a bridge will generally require two or more visits.  The teeth and adjacent gums are numbed by the use of a suitable anesthetic. The two anchoring teeth will then prepared by the removal of a portion of the enamel. This is necessary to accommodate the crowns.

Next, a very precise impression (or “mold”) is made of the modified anchoring teeth and the adjacent gap. This mold will be utilized by a dental laboratory to construct a custom fitted bridge.

During that first appointment, a temporary bridge will be constructed.  It will be worn for several weeks, providing protection for the modified anchor teeth until your new appliance is ready.

During your second visit, your new, permanent bridge will be carefully checked, adjusted as needed, and cemented in place to achieve a secure, proper fit.  On some occasions, your dentist may choose to use temporary cement to secure the new permanent bridge.  This is done to allow an opportunity for your teeth and gum tissue to become acclimated to the new bridge.

In the case of a temporary installation, a third appointment will be necessary for your new bridge to be adjusted as needed and permanently cemented in place.

You will receive care instructions at the conclusion of the procedure.  Proper brushing, flossing and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new permanent bridge.