What is fixed bridge?

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Your teeth can help you chew, speak and smile. If you’re missing one or more teeth you may find these simple actions difficult. Fortunately, missing teeth can be replaced and the solution may be a fixed bridge. They are cemented to the natural teeth next to the space left by the missing tooth. Just like a bridge across the stream, the dental fixed bridge connects two strong teeth on each side of the space.

A dental bridge is also known as a fixed prosthesis is a common way to replace single or multiple missing teeth. Typically there should be stable healthy teeth on either side of the missing tooth or teeth in order to successfully prepare and deliver a dental bridge. The supporting existing teeth on either side of the space are referred to as abutment teeth and the bridge retainer is essentially like a cap or a crown that is custom made to fit and cover the abutment teeth. The bridge pontic is a false tooth that replaces the missing tooth or teeth in the mouth and is fabricated in the lab at the same time as the bridge retainer. The bridge retainers and pontics form the dental bridge and are almost always a single solid piece.

There are four parts to the dental bridge procedure.

1. Bridge preparation

The abutment teeth are shaved down by approximately one to one and a half millimeters or more to accommodate the custom-made bridge retainers. The walls of the preparations must have the
correct draw or parallelism in order for the bridge to fit properly.

2. Impression

Impression material is used to make an accurate mold of the teeth being treated as well as the surrounding teeth and the bite. Typically impressions of all the top and bottom teeth are made. This can also be accomplished digitally using a specialized scanner instead of impression material.

3. Temporary bridge fabrication and placement

4. Cementation of the permanent bridge

The permanent dental bridge is cemented in place using a permanent adhesive. The bite is checked and adjusted as needed. Bridges’ light crowns can be made of different materials such as base metal alloys, gold alloys, porcelain, porcelain fused metal, zirconia, or porcelain fused zirconia.

There can be huge differences in the execution of bridges. More specifically in the way teeth are cut and that’s why some ridges last 30 or more years while others last only a couple of years. For the important aspects concerning bridges, for example, how to clean dental bridges check out the content of our blog here.

Our Bellevue team at Hidden Valley Smiles will guide you through the entire fixed bridge procedure. Contact us for a cost estimate or to schedule your appointment.