A dental bridge is a fixed (non-removable) appliance and is an excellent way to replace missing teeth.
There are several types of bridges. You and your dentist will discuss the best options for your particular case. The “traditional bridge” is the most popular type and is usually made of porcelain fused to metal. Fixed bridges made of porcelain are most popular because they resemble your natural teeth. This type of bridge consists of two crowns that go over two anchoring teeth (abutment teeth) and are attached to artificial teeth, filling the gap created by one or more missing teeth.
Dental bridges are highly durable and will last many years; however, they may need replacement or need to be re-cemented due to normal wear.
Candidates For A Porcelain Fixed Bridge
People with missing teeth don't merely have an aesthetic problem — gaps in the smile can heavily impact the health and function of your mouth. Your mouth is delicately balanced, and missing teeth may affect the way it works. With time, gaps can lead to the shifting of teeth, creating problems with your bite (overbite, underbite, crossbite) and gum or jawbone atrophy. To place a porcelain fixed bridge, the surrounding teeth must be strong enough to hold the restoration, with sufficient density in the jawbone and gums. Dr. El-Kheir will assess your mouth during your consultation to determine if a porcelain fixed bridge is right to help you achieve the stronger, more beautiful smile you want.
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What should I expect after my procedure?
You should have a noticeable improvement in your teeth's function and appearance. You may schedule a follow-up visit at Evolution Dentistry to improve the fit of your bridge if it feels loose after it is placed. Dr. El-Kheir or an assistant on his team will teach you how to maintain your dental bridge, including the best way to keep it clean and any foods to avoid. It's crucial to frequently clean your bridge and mouth because cavities can still develop under restoration. If you properly care for it, your custom bridge may last for several years. You need to continue to attend appointments at Evolution Dentistry to get an annual dental examination and cleaning twice a year. During your examination, Dr. El-Kheir will check the health and fit of your dental bridge to decide if it needs to be repaired or replaced.
Reasons for a Fixed Bridge:
- Fill space of missing teeth
- Maintain facial shape
- Prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position
- Restore chewing and speaking ability
- Restore your smile
- Upgrade from a removable partial denture to a permanent dental appliance
What Does Getting a Fixed Bridge Involve?
Getting a bridge usually requires two or more visits. While the teeth are numb, the two anchoring teeth are prepared by removing a portion of enamel to allow for a crown. Next, a highly accurate impression (mold) is made, which will be sent to a dental laboratory where the bridge will be fabricated. In addition, a temporary bridge will be made and worn for several weeks until your next appointment.
At your second visit, your permanent bridge will be carefully checked, adjusted, and cemented to achieve a proper fit. Occasionally, your dentist may only temporarily cement the bridge, allowing your teeth and tissue time to get used to the new bridge. The new bridge will be permanently cemented at a later time.
You will receive care instructions at the conclusion of your treatment. Proper brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new permanent bridge.
Porcelain Fixed Bridges FAQ
How many teeth can be replaced with a porcelain-fixed bridge?
In general, a bridge usually only replaces up to four teeth in a row. A bridge replacing more than four missing teeth can become unstable in the mouth, and in these cases, a full denture or dental implants may be recommended.
How many appointments are needed to get a porcelain fixed bridge?
Two appointments are required to have a porcelain fixed bridge placed. The first visit is to take impressions of your mouth, prepare the anchor teeth, and have the bridge made in the lab. Patients wear a temporary bridge while their permanent one is finished. When it's ready, you'll come back to have your permanent porcelain fixed bridge placed.
How long does a porcelain-fixed bridge last?
Most patients can expect their bridge to last up to 10 – 15 years before it may need adjusting or replacing. With good oral hygiene and regular dental checkups at Evolution Dentistry, you can significantly prolong the useful life of your bridge.
Will my porcelain-fixed bridge look fake?
No, it won't. Dr. El-Kheir will choose a porcelain color that so closely matches your natural tooth shade that the only people who know you have a fixed bridge will be Dr. El-Kheir and you – unless you tell someone.