When a tooth has been lost and healthy teeth are located on both sides of the newly missing tooth or teeth, then a fixed bridge is a treatment option. Dental Bridges are natural-looking dental appliances that can replace a section of missing teeth. Because Dental Bridges are custom-made, dental bridges are barely noticeable and can restore the natural contour of teeth as well as the proper bite relationship between upper and lower teeth.
Dental Bridges are sometimes referred to as fixed partial dentures, because they are semi-permanent and are bonded to existing teeth or dental implants.
There are several types of fixed dental bridges (cannot be removed), including:
- conventional fixed bridges,
- cantilever bridges and
- resin-bonded bridges.
Fixed bridges are typically made from porcelain with a metal sub-structure and require at least two appointments to complete. The first appointment is used to prepare and temporize the teeth. The second appointment is the delivery appointment to adjust and cement the fixed bridge in place. Occasionally a third appointment is needed if the span of the bridge is long and the supporting framework for the bridge needs to be tried in before the porcelain is applied to the framework. Even though all of the teeth of the bridge are physically connected, the final result makes it look like the teeth are individual and natural.
Some bridges are removable and need to be cleaned by the wearer; Unlike a removable bridge, which you can take out and clean, your dentist can only remove a fixed bridge. Porcelain, gold alloys or combinations of materials are usually used to make bridge appliances. Appliances called implant bridges are attached to an area below the gum tissue, or the bone.