Bridges: fixed or removable; we’ll build them.
What's a Bridge or Fixed Partial Denture?
A bridge is a device used to replace missing teeth by attaching artificial teeth to adjacent natural teeth. Bridges can be permanently attached (i.e. "fixed") or removable. Fixed bridges are bonded into place and can only be removed by a dental professional. Removable bridges can be taken out and cleaned. Fixed bridges offer more stability.
- Fixed bridges are applied by either placing crowns on the adjacent teeth or by bonding the artificial teeth directly to the adjacent teeth.
- Removable bridges are attached to the teeth with metal clasps or by precision attachments.
If you're missing one or more teeth, you may be aware of their importance to your appearance and dental health. Your teeth work together for many daily functions, from eating to speaking; with missing teeth, it's difficult to do these things. Missing teeth can and should be replaced. Fixed bridges are a great way to restore your dental health and appearance.
The Benefits of Bridges
Oral functionality and appearance are important reasons for wearing a bridge. But it doesn't stope there: a bridge helps support your lips and cheeks. The loss of a back tooth may cause your cheeks to cave and your face to look older because there is no underlying structure to maintain facial shape. That's a major consideration if you're flirting with the idea to forego a bridge.
One other thing: unusual stresses are placed on the gums and other oral tissues when teeth are missing, which can cause the following harmful disorders:
- Increased risk of gum disease has proven to be one of the worst side effects of missing teeth and can be minimized with a bridge.
- Missing teeth can cause speech disorders because teeth contribute to clear speech.
How Is a Bridge Attached?
The attachment procedure usually takes two or three appointments to complete. At the first appointment, Dr. Workman will prepare the teeth on either side of the gap by removing a portion of the enamel and dentin. Fixed bridges are then cemented to the natural teeth next to the space left by the missing tooth. A pontic (false tooth) replaces the lost tooth. Crowns, which are cemented onto the natural teeth, provide support for the bridge.
What materials are used?
Bridges can be constructed from gold alloys, non-precious alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials. Porcelain is often bonded to either precious or non-precious metal.