What Are Fixed Bridges?

In cases where a patient is missing teeth, the dentist has multiple options for how to treat the problem, including dentures, fixed bridges, and dental implants. Fixed bridges, which are a permanent (non-removable) dental appliance made of porcelain combined with metal, are an excellent option for the replacement of missing teeth. The fixed bridge is essentially a combination of two crowns that top two abutment teeth, which anchor the whole structure., and are connected by artificial teeth known as pontics. The bridge structure is a durable, stable choice for how to fill the gap created by missing teeth.

In What Situations Are Fixed Bridges Used?

Fixed bridges are primarily used in cases where a patient is missing several teeth. These permanent dental appliances serve several purposes, including:

  • Taking the place of missing teeth
  • Repairing the patient’s smile and enhancing their self-esteem
  • Keeping the teeth in their proper positions so that they do not shift or move
  • Revitalizing the patient’s ability to talk and chew
  • Enhancing the patient’s dental work from a partial removable denture to a more permanent solution

What Are the Advantages of Fixed Bridges?

Some of the advantages of fixed bridges as a dental treatment are:

  • They are permanent, meaning that it is impossible for the patient to misplace or lose them.
  • They provide a reliable and subtle solution to the missing teeth problem — no one ever has to know that the patient has had dental work done.

What Is the Fixed Bridge Placement Process Like?

The process of getting a fixed bridge is a multi-step, multi-appointment process. Here are the steps:

  • At the first appointment, the dentist will prepare the abutment (anchor) teeth by taking off some natural enamel so a crown can be installed.
  • Then, the dentist will create molds of the patient’s mouth, which will be used by a dental laboratory to manufacture the bridge. As a placeholder, the patient is given a temporary bridge.
  • Once the bridge has been received by the dentist’s office (typically several weeks later) and the patient has fully healed from the first part of the procedure, the patient will return for a followup visit, which is when the new permanent fixed bridge will be placed in the mouth.
  • Even later on, the dentist will cement the fixed bridge into its new permanent home.

What Are the Disadvantages of Fixed Bridges?

Like other dental treatments, fixed bridges also have their drawbacks, such as:

  • Over the course of time, fixed bridges degrade. This means that they will eventually need to be either re-cemented or replaced entirely.

What Is the Best Way to Care for a Fixed Bridge?

After your dentist gives you your new fixed bridge, you will also receive instructions for how to care for your mouth post-procedure. In the long-term, it is crucial to maintain good oral hygiene habits such as flossing and brushing your teeth daily and visiting the dentist regularly for checkups. Provided that you put in the effort to take good care of your teeth, the fixed bridge should last for a good many years as a part of your healthy, beautiful smile.

If you would like more information about fixed bridges or are ready to schedule a consultation at one of our convenient Toronto or North York locations, give Empress Walk Dental a call at 416-250-8000!

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