Have you lost teeth due to accident, injury, or gum disease? In those cases where dental implants are not an option, a dental bridge can help restore your smile. It fills the gap caused by missing teeth, preventing your remaining teeth from shifting. A fixed bridge can also correct a misaligned bite, improve chewing function and speech articulation, and give you a more youthful appearance by providing structure to your face (compare a dental bridge with a dental implant).
What Is a Fixed Dental Bridge?
A bridge is a prosthetic tooth (or teeth) that attaches on one or both sides to teeth prepared with dental crowns. The fixed bridge is permanently joined onto the neighboring teeth and consists of three basic units: the false tooth or teeth, and two abutment crowns. The style of bridge will depend on the strength and health of the neighboring teeth, as well as the location of the gap in relation to the rest of your dentition.
The advantages of a fixed dental bridge are:
- It’s fixed, stable, and feels like your own teeth, although the more inexpensive they are, the less this is the case.
- In most cases it can be made to look just like you never had a tooth missing.
The disadvantages are:
- You have to treat the two teeth on either side of the missing teeth in order to anchor the bridge in place. These teeth may be in good shape with nothing wrong.
- There will now be extra pressure on these adjoining teeth to make up for the missing tooth or teeth.
- They can be hard to floss.
With proper care, a fixed dental bridge may last 8 to 10 years, although Dr. Pete’s had patients with bridges that have lasted much longer. Susan S (below) tells how her bridge lasted 35 years before she recently had Dr. Pete replace it with an implant and crown!
Our Patients Describes Their Experiences with Dental Bridges
Susan S. says:
“I WISH THERE HAD BEEN IMPLANTS BACK IN 1978. I’d cracked a tooth in college and had a bridge put in by another dentist. It needed to be replaced and that’s when I got my three tooth bridge from Dr. Pete. The bridge he did lasted 35 years. They usually don’t last that long. It was a great bridge but it needed to be replaced.
Dr. Pete offered me the choice: I could replace my bridge or get an implant. He keeps up with technology so he’s able to present all options. I’m grateful to have good teeth and I take care of them. My smile is something worth hanging onto. I chose the implant. I was able to have all the procedures in Dr Pete’s office. That was two years ago. I’m really happy with the implant. It’s so easy to clean and it feels more like a part of my mouth than the bridge did. When I bite down it feels like a real tooth – not a thing suspended between two other teeth, which is how a bridge feels. The implant doesn’t feel cosmetic. The implant tooth engages with the other teeth. It just feels more natural than the bridge. It’s connected to me. It feels secure. The whole process was simple. That’s how Dr. Pete does dentistry. I’m very pleased with all the care and follow-up I have received from Dr. Pete and his staff…for over 37 years.”
I am (was) missing several teeth (lower right side) and had tried partials designed by two different dentists. I came to Dr Pete on recommendation and he fitted me with a unique cantilever bridge. The prosthesis is absolutely marvelous! The new teeth are fitted perfectly and feel like my own natural teeth. Dr. Pagano did an expert job!