A Stable Solution that Renews Your Smile
If you’ve lost teeth due to accidents, injury, or gum disease, we can create a special permanent ‘bridge’ appliance to replace the missing teeth. Not only does a bridge fill the missing teeth space, thereby preventing repositioning of remaining teeth, but it also corrects an altered bite, improves chewing ability and speech articulation, and supports facial structures to preserve your normal appearance. A ‘fixed’ bridge is simply one that is permanently joined onto the neighboring ‘abutment’ teeth on either side of the toothless area.
A Style for Every Situation
Most bridges consist of three basic units: the false tooth or teeth (called a pontic) and two crowns that are attached permanently to the abutment teeth. If you’re only missing front teeth, while your neighboring abutment teeth are healthy, we might determine that a resin-bonded or “Maryland” bridge is your best and most economical choice. In such cases, we simply bond metal bands to the abutment teeth where they’ll be hidden from view, then fuse the pontic to those bands. This style bridge is very conservative, reducing the amount of preparation required for your adjacent teeth.
On the other hand, if you only have teeth left on only one side of the span, we might have to anchor the pontic to one side over one or more natural, adjacent teeth. This arrangement is called a “cantilever” bridge. Or, if you have no adjacent ‘anchor’ teeth available at all, we may recommend a surgically implanted metal post or ‘implant’. And finally, if your span of missing teeth is quite considerable, we may recommend a removable partial denture or implant-supported prosthesis instead.
Several Straightforward Steps
Bridge placement and fitting is a fairly simple process traditionally involving three steps. First, we will reduce the adjacent abutment teeth as needed to anchor the bridge. Next, we will carefully take a careful impression of your mouth, from which we’ll have the laboratory design your bridge’s metal framework and pontic. During the second appointment, we’ll fit the newly fabricated, custom-fit bridge over your teeth. Typically, the entire process takes around two to four weeks, depending on the style of bridge we’ve recommended. A little extra time is occasionally required to precisely match the bridge’s color shade to that of your natural teeth.
Special Suggestions for Safeguarding
It’s quite likely that your bridge anchoring area will trap food particles as you eat. So, you’ll need to be committed to excellent oral hygiene: twice daily brushing, daily flossing, and regular professional cleanings at our office. Sometimes we’ll even recommend using floss threaders to help remove bacteria from hard to reach spaces between the bridge and your adjacent teeth and gums. Without this kind of proper care and attention, food debris and plaque may easily build up on your remaining teeth, imperceptibly leading to gum disease. And if serious gum disease occurs, we may even have to remove your bridge. However, with proper oral hygiene, you can expect your fixed bridge to last at least 8-10 years.