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Filling in the Gaps with Fixed Dental Bridges!

Like the name suggests, dental bridges are used to fill gaps between your teeth. There are a number of alternative restorations for missing teeth, but bridges are usually recommended for areas with insufficient bone structure to support dental implants, of when the patient does not want a permanent tooth installed.
Doctor2th is an experienced dental implant dentist in Irvine, CA.
Dental bridges usually consist of several (two or more) crowns for the teeth adjacent to the gap on both sides. These teeth provide anchorage for the crown, and are referred to as abutment teeth. The restoration placed between the two are known as false teeth or “pontics”, and can be made from a variety of materials including porcelain, gold, alloys, or a combination of these materials. Dental bridges can also be anchored to implants.
Construction of Fixed Bridges
Fixed bridges are the most common type of bridge used. The other types are cantilever bridges and resin-bonded bridges. Traditional fixed bridges are similar to individual crowns fixed together in a series. Similarly, the procedure used to fabricate fixed bridges is similar to that of individual crowns, but more extensive. The final product closely imitates the look and feel of natural teeth.
The construction process of fixed bridges involves:
1. Diagnosis:
Here, the dentist checks the number and health of anchor teeth, including their mobility (looseness), periodontal status, occlusion (bite), cosmetic implications, and other factors. The number of support teeth varies depending on the diagnosis.
Teeth affected by periodontal disease and bone loss cannot sufficiently support the extra load created by fixed bridges. As such, additional support teeth may be necessary.
2. Preparation and Impressions:
Once your dentist determines that dental bridges are right for you, your measured abutment teeth will be prepared. The preparation process typically involves re-contouring the abutment teeth by removing a small section of your enamel to provide enough space for the crown to be placed over them later on.
In the same appointment, your dentist may decide to take impressions of your abutment teeth, as well as the gap, to be used as a model from which the pontic, bridge, and crowns will be fabricated by a dental lab.
3. Temporization:
Temporary fixed bridgework may be fabricated to stabilize the support teeth, promoting effective function and esthetics.
4. Evaluation:
It is necessary to evaluate bridgework during the different stages of fabrication to allow for detailed verification of correct fit prior to finalizing the esthetic ceramic layer. Furthermore, the ceramic layer may be evaluated for proper occlusion (bite) prior to application of the final color and shading.
5. Cementation:
This step involves the final assessment of your personalized bridge, removal of the temporary bridge, and placement of the non-removable bridge.
Final Note
For the first few weeks after installation, you should avoid consuming hard or sticky foods.
Fixed dental bridges usually last for 5 to 15 years, or longer, with good oral hygiene practices and routine check-ups to evaluate how the bridges are melding to your mouth.

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