What is Fixed Bridges?

Fixed Bridge

BRIDGING GAPS. A fixed bridge helps fill in gaps caused by missing teeth.

A fixed bridge is a dental crown composed of multiple, attached units. It is called a fixed bridge because it provides a tooth-like bridge hanging over the area of the missing tooth, which are connected by dental crowns.

If we do not replace the space provided by the previously extracted tooth, consequences may arise.

It can cause the remaining teeth to move to any direction or rotate resulting in an altered and a more problematic bite which causes an imbalance in the mouth. This altered bite can lead to pain in the temporomandibular joint or gum disease.

The usual treatment is to have removable dentures but some patients want a more permanent solution. If there are one or more missing teeth, a fixed bridge can be the treatment of choice.

Advantages

  • Aesthetics. Dental bridges are made of a variety of material ranging from alloys of porcelain and metal to solid gold. These enhance your appearance and most people choose the ones that look perfectly natural. The cosmetic dentist will give you a choice over the shade and color of your bridge.
  • Speech. Is likely to improve as you will have feeling of teeth again. Dental bridges can be made for multiple missing teeth and last for a number of years.
  • Biting. Dental Bridges are cemented in place so you can chew your food properly without having the trouble to take on/off the fake teeth. Since they function like your natural teeth you can bite anything you want without being concerned over sensitivity.
  • Form. Dental bridges are helpful in preventing other teeth from drifting out of position. They complete the structure and keep all of your teeth where they belong.

Disadvantages

  • Hygiene. Dental bridges require strict levels of oral hygiene. If you are lazy about brushing, flossing and regular check-ups, you are likely to end up with serious problems like foul breath and infections due to collection of food debris.
  • Trauma. In case of an accident, you might severely damage your bridge and consequently the gums and other teeth. If so, you might require root canal therapy.
  • Sensitivity. Normally, your teeth will be sensitive for some weeks. In certain cases, it might become a problem and you might end up at the dentist’s clinic more often than imagined.
  • Cement Leakage. Although most dental bridges are held firmly together with either resin or different kinds of adhesives, they might leak and cause more problems. This usually happens when the dental bridge is about to expire. This calls for emergency replacement.
  • Abutments. In preparation of the neighboring teeth as abutments, you will experience a permanent loss. They will have to be cut down to size so that crowns can rest on those. In case your dental bridge fails to perform, you will be left with no choice but to wear crowns on the trimmed teeth and a removable partial denture.

What to Expect?

The procedure for fixed bridges is the same with dental crowns.

Both require multiple appointments to your dentist.

First, tooth reduction is done, followed by the impression of the tooth. The mold of the tooth is sent to the laboratory for processing and upon return, it will be tried in for the fit and for the shade assessment.

If no adjustments are needed, the fixed bridge or crown is cemented on the reduced tooth. Upon cementation of these restorations in the mouth, the patient is expected to follow a meticulous oral hygiene regimen like flossing and brushing.

When the fixed bridge or crown is kept clean, it can survive longer in the mouth and it can decrease the tendency of replacements of the restoration.

Time Span

It will last for at least 7 to 12 years.

 

WRITTEN BY: DR. MARI ELIZABETH PERENA | EDITED BY: DR. RICHELLE RAMIREZ

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