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Fixed Bridges

A dental fixed bridge is an excellent way to replace missing teeth.  A bridge maintains a stable bite and restores your beautiful smile.  It can also prevent a chain reaction of problems, including:

  • Shifting teeth
  • Difficulty keeping teeth free of plaque and bacteria
  • Loss of bone in the jaw
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Grinding and clenching
  • Pain in the jaw joint, the TMJ

 Why missing teeth need to be replaced:

Teeth need each other for support.  When you lose a tooth, the biting forces change on the teeth next to the space, causing the teeth to shift.  Also, the opposing teeth no longer have anything to chew against, so the may begin to extrude or move out of the sockets of the bone.  These changes create places that are hard to keep clean, which can cause tooth decay and periodontal disease.

Changes in the bite also can put improper chewing forces on the shifted teeth, and this can lead to loose teeth and loss of jawbone, especially when periodontal disease is already present in your mouth.  An uneven bite makes it harder to chew your food and may lead to grinding and clenching.  A bad bite can also create painful problems with your jaw joint, the TMJ.

The benefits of a fixed dental bridge:

  • Replace teeth for biting and chewing
  • Assist in clear speech
  • Help prevent teeth from shifting
  • Are supported by crowns that can serve as restorations for neighboring teeth that have damage or decay
  • Restore your smile
  • Maintain facial shape

Determining the need for a bridge: 

To determine if a bridge is right for you, we will perform a thorough exam to make sure that the surrounding teeth are healthy and can provide a strong foundation for a bridge.  The exam often includes taking x-rays and probing around the teeth to check for periodontal disease.

There are several kinds of bridges, so we will talk with you about the best type for your situation.  We can then begin the steps necessary to create and place your new bridge.

Types of dental bridges:

  • Porcelain Bridges
  • Ceramo-Metal Bridges
  • Gold Bridges

 What does getting a fixed bridge involve?

Getting a bridge usually requires two or more visits.  During the first appointment, we prepare your teeth, create an impression of your teeth, and place a temporary bridge.  The impression gives us an accurate working model of your mouth and allows us to re-create your natural bite.  A dental laboratory uses the model to fabricate a bridge that will fit your teeth precisely.  During you final appointment, we replace the temporary bridge with the new bridge.At the second visit, you permanent bridge will be carefully checked, adjusted, and cemented to achieve a proper fit.  Occasionally your dentist may only temporarily cement the bridge, allowing your teeth and tissue time to get used to the new bridge.  The new bridge will be permanently cemented at a later time.

You will receive care instructions at the conclusion of your treatment.  Proper brushing, flossing and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new permanent bridge.

Dental bridges are highly durable and will last many years, however they may need replacement or need to be re-cemented due to normal wear.

For more information about fixed bridges and to see if one is right for you, please call the office at (973) 467-9876 to schedule your appoinment.