Fixed Bridges Bridge Type The Procedure
Fixed bridges, quite simply, replace missing teeth to There are two main types of bridges: conventional and It will take two or more dental visits to prepare and fit
make chewing easier, improve appearance, and keep Maryland. A conventional bridge has replacement teeth our bridge. First your dentist reshapes the support teeth
your teeth, gum, and jaws healthy. Bridges consist of that are attached to crowns that fit over your natural teeth that will hold the crowns of your fixed bridge. Then an
one or more replacement teeth attached to the on either side of the space to be filled. The replacement impression of the prepared tooth, and of the
natural teeth next to them. They are made of various teeth plus the crowns form a solid unit that is cemented surrounding and opposing teeth, is taken. If appearance
metals, porcelain, or a combination of the two. into place to restore your natural bite. counts, your dentist selects a colour from a guide to
make sure the replacement teeth match the colour of
Often people underestimate the value of every tooth In this example, one tooth on either side of the missing your natural teeth. To protect your prepared teeth while
in terms of beauty- even those in the back of the tooth is prepared to retain the fixed bridge. the fixed bridge is being made, your dentist may fit a
mouth. Although the spaces created by these missing temporary bridge that is held in place by temporary
teeth may not be visible, they can cause a variety of Porcelain is normally fused to a metal framework is being cement.
problems and start a vicious cycle of destruction. In a tried in the mouth.
normal, healthy mouth, your teeth have a natural Between visits expect to wait about one week while the
balance. Each upper tooth contacts the The final porcelain-fused-to-metal bridge is fitted over the lab work is being done. Be careful when cleaning your
corresponding lower tooth, allowing for a well- teeth and just under the gum tissue. teeth or eating, because your temporary bridge can
balanced chewing function. Losing a tooth quickly loosen. Let your dentist know immediately if the
destroys this balance. Just one missing tooth can Lasts 5-15 years (longer than Maryland bridge) temporary bridge comes off or does loosen.
cause the position of other teeth to change- some Helps prevent movement of adjacent and
teeth may tilt forward, or opposing teeth may move opposing teeth At your second visit, your temporary bridge is removed
down. A missing tooth can also create spaces More expensive than the Maryland bridge and your dentist places the fixed bridge onto your
between your teeth, changing your bite and smile. A Maryland bridge has replacement teeth that are prepared teeth, adjusting it in your mouth. When the fit
These shifting, drifting, and titling teeth can cause a attached to the back of nearby natural teeth using a metal and bite are comfortable, the fixed bridge is cemented
variety of problems such as difficult or painful or porcelain strip. This type of bridge may be an option if into place. If after trying the bridge for a few days you
chewing (due to changes in your muscles, bones, and the teeth next to the bridge are in good condition. think it needs further adjusting, call your dentist.
joints), or abnormal decay areas (due to teeth that
are hard to reach to keep clean) which accelerates The two adjacent teeth are slightly prepared and very little In certain situations, and if your surrounding teeth are in
periodontal (gum) disease. Generally, if the missing enamel is reduced. Backs if the teeth and the inside of the good condition, your dentist may recommend the
tooth is not replaced, more teeth may eventually be metal “wings” are etched and attached together with a Maryland bridge. Talk to your dentist to determine if this
lost due to the improper forces exerted during strong cement. is a good option for you.
chewing. Last 5-10 years
In short, by replacing missing teeth you can: Less tooth reduction
Help restore and maintain a natural bite Less expensive than the conventional bridge
Prevent unnatural stress on other teeth Metal backing may show through if the teeth are
Help keep opposing teeth in their proper thin
Prevent shifting and titling of adjacent teeth The strong metal wings have now bonded the replacement
Help prevent further dental decay and gum tooth to the adjacent teeth.
Maximize your smile, speech, and chewing
Living with Your Fixed Bridge
**Missing teeth don’t always hurt, and may seem
Fixed bridges appear and function similar to natural harmless enough. But if they are not fixed or replaced
teeth. They remain in the mouth at all times and can quickly, they can lead to chewing problems, affect other
only be removed by your dentist. Because trimmed teeth, and affect how you look and feel**
down natural teeth (abutments) must carry the load
of missing teeth, sometimes they can be overloaded.
Patients need to “favour” the bridged areas slightly to
avoid overloading and potentially loosing or
damaging the prostheses. FIXED BRIDGES
Good oral hygiene can help your bridge last a long
time. You can extend your treatment life expectancy
Brushing after each meal. Brush the surfaces
and sides of your bridge like you do your Replace Your Missing Teeth
natural teeth. Use a interdental brush to
clean between large spaces.
Flossing at least once a day to clean food and
bacteria from between teeth and at the gum
line. Special thick floss can help keep your
bridge clean. And floss threaders help you
floss under a fixed bridge.
Seeing your dentist at least twice a year for a
cleaning and checkup. Ask your dentist
about special cleaning aids for your bridge.
Alternatives to fixed bridges include removable
partial dentures which are the most common
alternatives, or implants with crowns and/or fixed
prostheses placed over them.
If you have any further questions about fixed bridges
or if you notice a problem with your bridge already in
place, call your dentist.