Replacing Missing Teeth
- A fixed bridge replaces a missing tooth or teeth. It is called a fixed bridge because it is not removable.
- A bridge is a structure, supported by teeth on either side of a space. It spans the gap between teeth, just as a bridge spans a river.
How is a bridge made?
- The first step is to prepare the supports for the bridge.
- Replacement crowns are placed over existing teeth as supports for a bridge.
- The dentist pares down the teeth on either side of the gap, and takes an impression of the prepared teeth.
- This is then sent to the dental technician where the bridge is made.
- The technician will make a replacement crown for each prepared tooth.
- These crowns are joined to an artificial tooth, which replaces the missing tooth.
- The dentist will then cement the completed bridge over the prepared teeth.
How will my pared down teeth be protected until I receive my bridge?
- The dentist will make and install a temporary acrylic bridge that will protect the teeth and prevent sensitivity.
- You can eat normally with a temporary bridge. It will also look good.
What is the fixed bridge usually made of?
- The base or framework is made of precious or non-precious metal to which tooth-colored porcelain is fused.
- Since the development of new stronger ceramic materials, bridges can now be made entirely of porcelain.
Is the preparation of bridgework painful?
- The procedure is not painful, because a local anesthetic is used during the paring of the teeth, and the taking of the impression.
- It is seldom necessary to take an analgesic for pain relief after the treatment.
Will there be any sensitivity after the bridges are placed in the mouth?
- Sensitivity to hot and cold sometimes occurs after the bridge has been cemented, but this is usually temporary.
Will a fixed bridge look good?
- Fixed bridges can be made to look natural and to match the adjoining natural teeth.
- A bridge in the front of the mouth will restore and even improve the smile.
How well will I be able to chew with a fixed bridge?
- Eating with a fixed bridge should be as comfortable as with natural teeth.
How successful are fixed bridges?
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- Fixed bridges have been used successfully to replace one or more missing teeth.
- They can last for many years.