When people lose their teeth to injury, decay or gum disease, the dentist may recommend getting a dental bridge in fixed dentistry. Leaving a missing tooth unreplaced can have adverse health effects and the gap between teeth affects the smile’s appearance. Fixed dental bridges are a common option for restoring lost teeth.
A fixed bridge in fixed dentistry is a non-removable restoration for replacing missing teeth. Several types of dental bridges exist, but the most common is the traditional dental bridge created from porcelain. Porcelain bridges are preferred because they are more aesthetically appealing.
A regular porcelain bridge comprises two dental crowns to cover the adjacent teeth that will serve as the anchor for the artificial teeth (pontic) that will fill the gap left by the missing teeth. Dental bridges are durable and can function for several years, although they may need to be cemented or replaced if damages occur.
Dental bridges can be completed and fitted in two separate dental visits. Producing the bridge may take between two to four weeks.
At the first appointment, the dentist will prepare the supporting teeth on both sides of the missing teeth or tooth for dental crowns. The teeth will function as “abutments” for the bridge. The component of the dental bridge that replaces the missing teeth is called the pontic.
After preparing the abutment teeth, the dentist will take impressions of the teeth and surrounding tissues and forward that to the dental laboratory that will make the bridge. The patient will have a temporary bridge until the permanent bridge is finished and ready for fitting. At the second fitting, the dentist will remove the temporary bridge and cement the completed permanent bridge in place.
A fixed dental bridge can last up to 20 years or more. The lifespan of the bridge depends on factors such as the location and length of the bridge, as well as care and maintenance.
A patient can opt for dental bridges if their jawbone is compromised and cannot hold a dental implant or if they prefer not to undergo implant surgery. A dental bridge is a practical option for patients who have lost one or more teeth in a row.
A partial denture may be ideal for patients without supporting tooth structure or if there are too many teeth lost in one span.
Dental bridges not only replace missing teeth, but they also restore the smile’s appearance. The benefits of choosing dental bridges include:
A dental bridge in fixed dentistry fits into existing teeth to maintain the structure of the oral cavity. The dental bridge does not move and can only be taken out by the general dentist for repairs or replacement. If you have lost one or two teeth, you can contact the dental office to see if a dental bridge would be right for you.
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