Fixed and Removable Bridges
Having a complete, natural-looking smile contributes to healthy self-esteem and is essential to your comfort and confidence while performing everyday tasks like eating, speaking, and smile. If you are missing one or more teeth, your dentist may recommend a dental bridge or tooth bridge as an esthetic solution. This solution also keeps the empty space left by missing teeth from causing the surrounding healthy teeth to shift and move into the existing gap.
A bridge is a prosthesis (replacement part) that relies on support from healthy teeth surrounding the gap left by a missing tooth or teeth. The artificial replacement tooth is called a “pontic” after the French “pont” for bridge. The healthy adjacent teeth, called abutments, provide support on either side — just like a bridge spanning a canyon.
What Is a Dental Bridge?
There are two main types of bridges: fixed and removable. Recognizing the differences between the two will help you understand your dentist’s recommendations and decide which will work best for you.
Fixed Bridge: Our provider typically recommends a fixed bridge for patients who have lost one or all of their teeth but have not suffered significant bone loss. A fixed dental bridge is made up of two or more crowns that are cemented to the teeth on either side of the gap (the anchor teeth), with false teeth in between. The replacement teeth can be made out of gold, porcelain, or alloys. A fixed tooth bridge can only be removed by a dentist.
Removable Bridge: Your dentist will recommend a removable dental bridge when multiple teeth are missing and the integrity of the supporting jawbone has been severely compromised. A removable bridge consists of replacement teeth attached to a gum-colored plastic support base that is connected with a metal framework. The bridge is then attached with metal clasps to existing teeth or implants. The plastic base restores the natural facial esthetics by providing support where the missing bone and tissues once were.
Benefits of a Dental Bridge
Dental bridges are a great solution for the gaps created by the absence of teeth. They consist of natural-looking prosthetics that blend in with the rest of your teeth, restoring beauty to your smile and increasing your self-confidence. The functionality of dental bridges will allow you bite, chew, and speak regularly. They can also help prevent more serious conditions from developing, such as the shifting of surrounding teeth, TMJ disorder, periodontal disease, and other head and neck pains.
A dental bridge offers the following benefits:
- Prevents remaining teeth from moving out of place
- Allows you to eat, speak, and smile naturally
- Maintains proper bite alignment and even bite-force distribution
- Maintains the esthetic integrity of the shape
- Restores natural function, look, and beauty to your smile
Placing Dental Bridges
The placement of dental bridges usually takes at least two visits. During the first appointment, our doctors will thoroughly examine the mouth, gums and teeth to determine the best treatment option. They will then reshape the natural teeth surrounding the dental gap to fit durable and natural-looking crowns. These crowns are the support for the entire prosthetic bridge. After the support teeth have been prepared, a cast and model of your teeth is created so a custom bridge can be created for a perfect fit. Our doctors will then fit a temporary bridge to protect the area while the bridge is created at a dental lab. The final bridge is placed during a second appointment. The crowns are bonded to the prepared teeth surrounding the dental gap with a special resin. The recovery period is very limited, and the aesthetic results are immediately apparent.
If you are ready to replace your missing teeth with a dental bridge, you are making a wise choice. Our dentists will help you smile confidently with a complete smile. We offer both removable and implant options for dental bridges to replace multiple missing teeth.
We will restore your beautiful smile with the best options for tooth replacement. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation.