Missing teeth can be a blow to anyone’s self-esteem. A dental bridge is a safe, fairly simple way to replace missing teeth, restoring your smile and confidence. Bridges are fixed, meaning they don’t come out; though there are many options, the most popular is made of porcelain, to match your teeth, attached to metal. Two crowns cover the teeth on either side, with the artificial tooth or teeth attached in between.
People have fixed bridges not just to fill in empty space, but also to maintain facial shape, prevent other teeth from drifting, and restore chewing, speaking, and smiling abilities. Additionally, many people wish to upgrade from a removable partial denture to a permanent appliance. Fixed bridges are durable, though they may need replacement or re-cementing throughout their life.
What is Involved in a Fixed Bridge?
A bridge will require a minimum of two visits, due to the intricacy of preparing a permanent device. At the first visit, the adjoining teeth are prepped for the crowns by having some of the enamel removed. A highly accurate impression is taken and sent to a laboratory, where the permanent bridge will be created.
You’ll typically wear a temporary bridge for a few weeks until the permanent one is ready. Then, it will be placed, checked, and cemented. In some cases, your dentist may want to adhere the bridge temporarily so your teeth and tissue can adjust, and permanently cement it at a later appointment.
Your dentist will advise you on the proper care and cleaning of your fixed bridge. Brushing and flossing will extend its longevity, as will routine dental exams and cleanings.