A fixed bridge is a non-removable appliance and is used to replace missing teeth. Bridges typically consist of two dental crowns that is attached to a pontic (artificial teeth). The crowns of the bridge encase the teeth adjacent to the missing area serving as anchors while the pontic fills in the space. Bridges can be made of different materials like porcelain fused to metal, lithium disilicate ceramics, zirconia, and full metal.
- Replace a hopeless tooth that needs to be extracted
- Fill up space resulting from one or more missing teeth
- Restore esthetics, function, and/or ability to speak properly
- Prevent drifting of adjacent/opposing teeth
- Upgrade from a removable partial denture restoration to a fixed restoration for increase comfort and function
Usually, two or more appointments are needed for fixed bridge procedures. On the first appointment, the dentist will prepare teeth adjacent to the missing tooth area. After, accurate impressions and bite registrations are taken in order for the dental lab technician to fabricate a well fitting, esthetic, and durable fixed bridge restoration. The lab fabrication process will take a few weeks and in the meantime the patient will have a temporary bridge restoration placed over the prepared anchoring teeth to prevent any discomfort for the patient. On the second appointment, the finished restoration will be tried in the patient's mouth to verify fit, bite, and esthetics. Few adjustments may be needed to ensure a properly fitting, comfortable restoration. Often, the dentist may cement the fixed bridge with temporary cement for a few weeks to make sure your teeth and soft tissue adapt well to the restoration. After, the bridge is permanently cemented. Proper and consistent brushing, flossing, and regular recall visits with the dentist will aid in the life of your new restoration.