Porcelain Fixed Bridges
A porcelain fixed bridge is a non-removable dental appliance that is designed to replace missing teeth. Unlike partial dentures that can be removed, fixed bridges are more like natural teeth that remain in place as the person eats and sleeps. Although normal wear can cause them to need repair in some cases, Porcelain fixed bridges are extremely durable and can last more than ten years when properly cared for.
The porcelain fixed bridge is created when an artificial tooth, commonly referred to as a “pontic” is attached to dental crowns that are applied to the anchoring teeth on either side of the gap. A fixed porcelain bridge can fill the gap of one missing tooth or multiple missing teeth.
Why Choose a Fixed Porcelain Bridge?
There are numerous types of dental appliances available to help people who have missing teeth, but the porcelain fixed bridge is likely the most popular. A bridge can:
- “Bridge” the gap left by missing teeth
- Be cared for in the same way as natural teeth (no need to remove for cleaning, sleeping, or surgery)
- Restore your smile (and your confidence)
- Prevent remaining teeth from shifting out of position
- Help restore a more youthful appearance by supporting facial tissues and maintaining facial shape
- Restore the ability to chew food
- Restore the ability to speak naturally
What to Expect When Getting a Porcelain Fixed Bridge
The entire procedure typically requires two or more office visits. During the initial visit, the teeth are numbed and a small amount of tooth structure (usually 1-2mm) is removed from around the anchoring teeth to enable the proper fit of the crowns. In most cases, any areas of tooth decay or damaged fillings will be removed at this time as well. Next, an accurate impression of the teeth is taken, commonly referred to as a “mold”, and sent to the dental laboratory. The technicians at the dental lab will then use the mold to fabricate the precise fitting porcelain bridge that includes an artificial tooth that matches the color of surrounding teeth. A temporary bridge is typically put into place to protect the remaining teeth and worn until fabrication of the permanent bridge is complete.
At the next appointment, the temporary bridge is removed and the permanent bridge is inserted. The bridge is then checked for proper fit, comfort and appearance before it is permanently cemented into place. Instructions are then provided to you to help you understand how to care for your bridge. Remember that proper oral hygiene and regular dental visits will help to prolong the life of your fixed bridge.