Traditional fixed bridges are among the most popular methods of tooth replacement.
They are likely to be at least partially covered by dental insurance, can usually be done in two visits, and don’t require surgery or bone grafting.
Are you ready to restore your natural smile and tooth functionality? Learn more about how fixed dental bridges work from our experienced dentist in Fremont, CA!
What are Fixed Bridges?
Fixed bridges are a dental restoration procedure used to replace missing teeth. They consist of a false tooth attached to dental crowns on either side. The false tooth fills the gap where the natural tooth used to be, and the attached crowns will fit on the two teeth surrounding it.
Why Would I Need a Fixed Bridge?
You need to replace missing teeth to avoid additional dental and health complications, and a fixed bridge is a great option to do so.
Issues that could arise if you don't fix missing teeth include:
Problems Chewing - The inability to properly chew is something that can quickly snowball into more problems such as indigestion and malnourishment.
Shifting Teeth - If you have a missing tooth, there is nothing there to hold the others in their place. The lack of support will cause other teeth to shift dramatically. The longer this is neglected, the more time and money it will take to correct down the road.
Bone Loss - Bone loss of the jawbone where a tooth is missing is a common occurrence after extended periods of time without a replacement.
Damage to Surrounding Teeth - Our teeth can handle incredible forces when they are able to work together. When one is missing, it puts more strain on the ones around the gap and makes them more vulnerable to damage.
How Much Do Fixed Bridges Cost?
It’s hard to give a specific estimate without knowing what preparation needs to be performed and how many teeth need to be replaced. The final price also depends on which material you choose for your bridge and the type of bridge you need.
Insurance typically covers the cost of a fixed dental bridge, however, restrictions apply based on your carrier and pre-existing conditions.
If you want a more accurate cost, you can make an appointment with Dr. Chew and he will break down all of the costs and procedures associated with giving you a smile you’ll love.
Types of Dental Bridges
While there are several types of dental bridges available, specific patients may receive more benefit from one over another. The dental bridge that's best for you depends on which teeth need to be replaced and how the surrounding ones look.
Traditional Fixed Bridge
A traditional fixed bridge is the strongest bridge option. The false tooth is supported on either side by crowns that are attached to a base, also called an abutment. A fixed bridge is the perfect option for tooth replacement in the back of the mouth, where chewing is prominent.
Cantilever Dental Bridge
Cantilever bridges aren’t as strong as a traditional fixed bridge but are a recommended choice when it comes to preserving a tooth.
Unlike fixed bridges, cantilever bridges only require one crown. Since they are only attached on one side, only one tooth needs to be shaped for a dental crown.
Maryland Bonded Bridge
A Maryland bridge is often used when both teeth surrounding the gap are in excellent condition. This type of dental bridge is primarily for a single tooth replacement in the front of the mouth.
The Maryland bridge is a false tooth with wing-like attachments on either side. These attachments are bonded to the backside of the healthy teeth on either side.
Implant-supported bridges are an attractive tooth replacement option for anyone missing multiple teeth. When multiple teeth are missing, there isn’t enough support for other types of bridges, so implants are required. These implants create an anchor for the bridge, creating a place where crowns can be attached.
With implant-supported bridges, dental implants are installed to act as an anchor point for the bridge. Once installed, the application process is almost identical to that of traditional fixed bridges.
Fixed Dental Bridge Process
Because getting a fixed dental bridge also involves installing dental crowns, the process closely parallels that of receiving dental crowns. Like the dental crown process, this one also takes two visits -- the first visit is for the exam, tooth shaping, dental impression, and temporary bridge. The second one is for the permanent bridge.
With all dental procedures, an in-depth exam is required. The primary focus of the exam is to ensure a patient is a good candidate for a dental bridge. During the examination, x-rays will be taken to check the integrity of the supporting teeth.
Tooth shaping is required for the crowns to attach properly. These teeth are referred to as the abutment teeth.
We'll take a tooth impression to ensure your bridge has the perfect fit. The mold is then sent to a lab for the bridge to be constructed.
Temporary Dental Bridge
Until the permanent bridge is installed, the patient must wear a temporary one. A temporary bridge prevents the shifting of teeth and protects the area. We will install a temporary dental bridge after impressions are taken.
Permanent Dental Bridge
Patients will be notified when their bridge has arrived so they can make an appointment to get it installed. Then, all you have to do is come in to have your permanent bridge cemented in.
How Long Does a Fixed Bridge Last?
A fixed dental bridge can last anywhere from five to 15+ years!
Of course, you'll need to keep up with proper oral hygiene such as brushing twice a day and flossing at least once per day.
Diet and lifestyle also factor into the lifespan of your dental bridge. However, most patients get a solid 10 years out of their fixed dental bridges.
Fixed Dental Bridges in Fremont, CA
If you're missing one or more teeth and want to regain full mouth function with a smile you’ll love, make an appointment today! Our experienced staff will walk you through the procedure and answer any questions you may have.