Porcelain Fixed Bridges
If you are missing one or more teeth, you are not alone! According to the American College of Prosthodontists (ACP), roughly 120 million Americans are missing at least one tooth. Almost 40 million people in the United States have no teeth at all.
Luckily, there are more tooth replacement options than ever before. At Grove Street Family Dentistry, we specialize in a number of procedures designed to restore the function and esthetics of your smile. One of our most popular treatments involves the placement of a porcelain fixed bridge.
What Is a Porcelain Fixed Bridge?
A bridge is a tooth replacement that typically consists of two dental crowns linked together by a pontic, or prosthetic tooth. Because the restoration is a singular piece, it literally “bridges” the gap created by one or more missing teeth. These days, a bridge can either be supported by your surrounding teeth or a series of dental implants.
Regardless of which bridge you receive, we want to emphasize how important it is to replace missing teeth. When tooth loss remains untreated, your remaining teeth will shift out of position to accommodate the open space. This can cause a malocclusion, or misaligned bite, which affects your ability to properly chew and speak.
Conventional Bridges Vs. Implant-Supported Bridges
A conventional bridge is attached to the two teeth surrounding the missing tooth or teeth. These teeth, also known as abutment (support) teeth, must be completely reshaped to accommodate the two dental crowns of your bridge.
Because a conventional bridge relies on your natural teeth, proper oral hygiene techniques are crucial, especially where the restoration meets your gumline. Without proper oral hygiene, your bridge can trap food debris, plaque, and bacteria underneath the crowns. This can damage or decay healthy abutment teeth.
An implant-supported bridge, as the name suggests, is attached to a series of dental implants. Each implant is placed below the gum tissue and into the jawbone. During the healing period following your minor surgery, the implants and your jawbone will fuse together through a process known as osseointegration. Osseointegration produces a bond powerful enough to support a number of different restorations against the strongest forces of your bite.
In most cases, we need to place an implant for each dental crown of your bridge. If this is not possible due to insufficient bone, we can also suspend a pontic between two implant posts. When compared to a conventional bridge, implants generally provide superior esthetics, durability, longevity, comfort, convenience, and long-term oral health.
Porcelain Fixed Bridges Vs. Dentures
A denture is a removable and time-tested appliance that is a safe, cost-effective, and convenient way to replacing missing teeth. A partial denture consists of one or several pontics that attach to the surrounding teeth with metal clasps. A complete denture consists of a full row of prosthetic teeth set in a flesh-colored acrylic base.
Due to their several advantages, we typically suggest porcelain fixed bridges over traditional dentures. Dentures are removable and do not offer the same level of cosmetics, durability, comfort, and convenience as a fixed bridge. Talk with Tania Tran, DMD during your initial consultation to find out which appliance is best for you.
Schedule Your Consultation Appointment Now!
If you are missing one or more teeth, a porcelain fixed bridge might be the ideal solution! Call (360) 659-3200 to learn more, and schedule your consultation appointment today!