A dental bridge is a fixed (non-removable) appliance that can be a convenient way for comprehensive family dentistry to help you restore your smile when you have one or more missing teeth. The bridge gets its name because it literally “bridges the gap” between the remaining teeth.
Several types of bridges are available. Porcelain Fixed Bridges are the most popular because they closely replicate the look and feel of natural teeth. This type of bridge consists of a pontic (artificial tooth) that is fused between dental crowns applied to the teeth on either side of the gap (abutment teeth).
Unlike removable partial dentures, fixed bridges cannot be taken out of your mouth. They remain in place as you eat, speak and sleep—just like natural teeth. For this reason, some people choose to upgrade from a removable appliance to a fixed bridge.
Dental bridges are highly durable and with proper care can last more than ten years; however, they may need repair or replacement due to normal wear.
A fixed bridge will:
- Restore your smile by filling the gap left by missing teeth.
- Support the facial tissues for a youthful look.
- Help prevent the remaining teeth from shifting.
- Help restore the ability to chew and speak naturally.
- Remain in place as you eat, speak and sleep—just like natural teeth.
Getting a bridge usually requires two visits. First, the teeth are numbed and a portion of enamel is removed from the two anchoring teeth to accommodate crowns. Next, a highly accurate impression (mold) is taken and sent to a dental laboratory. While the permanent fixed bridge is being fabricated at the laboratory (a process that takes several weeks) a temporary bridge is put in place for your comfort and protection.
During your second visit, your new custom bridge will be carefully inspected, adjusted, and precisely and permanently cemented into place. In order to allow your teeth and gums to get used to the new appliance, your dentist may choose to apply temporary cement, waiting until a subsequent visit to permanently cement the bridge in place.
At Falmouth Dental Associates, we use the latest technology and finest materials available to comprehensive family dentistry to produce porcelain fixed bridges that offer superior fit, function and aesthetics. We will provide you with instructions on how to care for your new appliance. As with natural teeth, proper oral hygiene, good eating habits and regular dental visits will help maintain the life of your porcelain fixed bridge.
Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about fixed porcelain bridges or to schedule a smile consultation with one of our doctors.