Dental Bridge

Dental Bridge

Fixed Bridges in Dallas Texas

Restoring your smile for the long run

When teeth are lost due to accidents, injury, or gum disease, we can create a special permanent ‘bridge’ appliance to replace the missing teeth. Not only does a dental bridge fill the missing teeth space, thereby preventing repositioning of remaining teeth, but it also corrects an altered bite, improves chewing ability and speech articulation, and supports facial structures to preserve your normal appearance. Most bridges are ‘fixed’ permanently with dental cement onto the neighboring ‘abutment’ teeth on either side of the toothless area.

Front, Side & Other Options

Usually, a dental bridge consists of three basic units: the false tooth or teeth (called a pontic) and two dental crowns that are attached permanently to the abutment teeth. When the patient is missing the front teeth only, and when the neighboring abutment teeth are healthy, a resin-bonded or “Maryland” dental bridge is a common and economical choice. In such cases, the pontic is fused to metal bands that are resin cement-bonded to the abutment teeth and hidden from view. This process reduces adjacent teeth preparation work. On the other hand, if teeth are left on only one side of the span, the pontic may need to be anchored to one side over one or more natural, adjacent teeth. This arrangement is called a “cantilever” dental bridge. If the patient has no adjacent ‘anchor’ teeth, the Dr may recommend a surgically implanted metal post or ‘dental implant’. Finally, if the missing teeth ‘span’ is very wide, we may suggest a removable partial denture or implant-supported prosthesis.

Reduction, Fabrication & Fitting

Dental bridge placement and fitting is a fairly simple process traditionally involving three steps. First, the Dr will reduce the adjacent abutment teeth to serve as dental bridge anchors. Next, he will take a careful impression of the mouth, from which the metal framework and pontic will be designed. During the second appointment, the newly fabricated, custom-fit dental bridge will be fitted over the teeth. Typically, this process requires two to four weeks, depending on the style of dental bridge being created. Matching the precise shade of teeth may sometimes cause minor delays.

Brushing, Flossing, & Preserving Your Dental Bridge

Because the dental bridge anchoring area can trap food particles, patients who choose bridges must be committed to excellent oral hygiene: twice daily brushing, daily flossing, and regular professional cleanings at our office. Sometimes we’ll even recommend using floss threaders to help remove bacteria from hard to reach spaces between the dental bridge and adjacent teeth and gums. Without proper care, food debris and plaque will build up on your remaining teeth, which can easily and imperceptibly lead to gum disease. If gum disease occurs, the dental bridge may need to be removed. However, with proper oral hygiene, you can expect your fixed dental bridge to last at least 8-10 years.