Have you been reluctant to smile or talk to people because you have teeth missing? If so, then there’s a way to have your smile gaps filled in: a fixed bridge (also referred to as a fixed partial denture). What does this consist of, and is it the right choice for you? Read on as a prosthodontist in La Mesa tackles these questions!
What is a Fixed Bridge?
Whether you have teeth missing because of an accident, injury or gum disease, a fixed bridge provides a way to have your smile and functionality restored. The fixture consists of one or more porcelain teeth. To secure it, the surrounding teeth are prepared by having crowns placed over them so the new apparatus can be bonded into position.
The Benefits of Having a Fixed Bridge Placed
Whenever there are teeth missing for a prolonged period of time, the surrounding ivories can begin to shift in search of the natural tension that is missing. By having a fixed bridge placed, you can prevent this happening. The apparatus can also help to correct a misaligned bite, improve chewing function and enhance speech articulation. More importantly, it can help to boost your confidence.
How a Fixed Bridge is Made
Often, a prosthodontist will need to perform some restorative care before a fixed bridge can be placed. This may involve treating any cavities, gum disease or other issues that could hinder your oral health in the future. Once the preliminary work is done, the prosthodontist will do the following:
- Take bite impressions that will be sent to a trusted lab to fabricate the bridge
- Place a temporary bridge to protect the exposed gums until the permanent fixture is ready
- At the second visit, remove the temporary bridge, check the new replacement and make any necessary adjustments
- Bond the permanent bridge into position
What to Expect from the Recovery Process
One of the most attractive features of having a fixed bridge placed is that the recovery process is relatively uninvolved. In most cases, patients are able to eat normally as soon as the bridge is placed. However, if you feel pain, it could be a sign of a rough patch on the bridge that your prosthodontist can fix by performing a simple adjustment.
If you’ve been living with teeth missing, then you’re already well aware of how difficult life can be. Now it’s time to rediscover the pleasantries of having a full and functional set of ivories!
About the Author
Dr. Peter F. Johnson is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine. A board-certified prosthodontist, he has a burning passion for providing the best care for his patients. After completing dental school, Dr. Johnson earned his Prosthodontic Certificate from the School of Dentistry at the University of Southern California. He helps patients regain the lives they once had by designing and placing fixed bridges at San Diego Denture & Implant Specialists, and he can be reached for more information through his website.