What exactly is a dental bridge or fixed partial denture?

A bridge (fixed partial denture) is a device used to replace/fill the gap where teeth are missing or removed. Fixed bridges are permanently bonded into place and can only be removed by a dental professional.

How is a bridge attached?

The attachment procedure usually takes two or three appointments to complete. At the first appointment, our doctor will prepare the teeth on either side of the gap by removing a portion of the enamel and dentin. Since the bridge must be fabricated very precisely to ensure correct bite and to match the opposing tooth, impressions of the teeth are taken and sent to a lab where the bridge will be constructed. Fixed bridges are typically cemented to the natural teeth next to the space left by the missing tooth. A pontic (false tooth) replaces the lost tooth. Crowns, which are cemented onto the natural teeth, provide support for the bridge.

What materials are used?

Bridges can be constructed from gold alloys, non-precious alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials. Porcelain is often bonded to high nobel metals (gold alloys).

How do I take care of my bridge?

A strict regimen of brushing and flossing will keep the bridge and surrounding teeth clean. This is of critical importance as the bridge relies on the neighboring teeth for support. The assistant and your hygienist will review home care for your bridge after placement.

What is better, a bridge or an implant?

In most cases, an implant is better for many reasons. See above. However, sometimes it is easier and more predictable to replace a tooth in an esthetic zone with a bridge. This will be determined and evaluated by your surgeon and dentist together.