When teeth are missing, a series of changes that can impact your overall dental health and jaw function may begin to develop. The adjacent teeth may start to drift or tilt into the space, and teeth in the opposing jaw may start to shift toward the area of the missing tooth. It is therefore important to replace either the single tooth or multiple teeth that are missing from this area. One of the best options to prevent the consequences of shifting teeth and to restore full function to a small edentulous section in the mouth is a dental bridge.
A dental bridge replaces the missing teeth with artificial teeth called "pontics," and is supported on the ends by prepared natural teeth. Once fabricated and fitted a dental bridge will be permanently "fixed," or cemented into place. Like crowns, bridges can be made of either porcelain baked on to a metal substrate or many of the new ceramic materials that have been developed.
Fixed dental bridges involve the preparation and crowning of teeth on either side of an area missing teeth to support artificial teeth to span the edentulous area.
A fixed bridge is a non-removable appliance fabricated to replace missing teeth, which closely resembles a patient's natural dentition. Besides serving to restore the appearance and performance of a complete smile, a fixed bridge also prevents teeth that are adjacent to or opposite the edentulous area from shifting to protect the integrity of the occlusion. Fixed bridges are strong, durable and natural looking restorations, which once they are permanently cemented into place allow all manner of normal oral function.
How are fixed bridges fabricated?
Fixed bridges are typically fabricated over the course of multiple visits and involve the preparation of the adjacent supporting teeth, impression taking, the placement of a temporary bridge as well as the try-in and cementation of the permanent restoration. The teeth located on either side of the edentulous area that are crowned to provide support for the bridge are referred to as the "abutment teeth," while the artificial tooth (or teeth) spanning across the empty space are known as "pontics."
With the dental technology available today, bridges can also be completely supported by implants without any preparation or crowning of the adjacent natural teeth required. Depending upon the aesthetic and functional needs of a case, fixed bridges can be fabricated from different dental materials including porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, or engineered ceramic-like products such as zirconia.
As an alternative to full dentures, a full arch fixed bridge anchored to multiple dental implants can offer a permanent solution in situations where all the teeth are missing or have been deemed non-restorable and need to be replaced. A full arch fixed bridge anchored to dental implants is a highly stable and cosmetically pleasing solution that lets you eat and function as you would with a full set of natural teeth.
Dr. Dan has been voted as one of America's Top Dentists by the Consumer Research Council of America in 2018. This accomplishment is based on his experience, training, and membership in professional organizations. In addition to his dental training, Dr. Dan has received advanced specialized training in dental implant surgery, in which he is a Fellow of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists and in Orthodontics focused on Invisalign.
Requirements of Fellow of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists: