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Fixed Bridge

Most of the people neglect to restore the missing tooth – but it is a serious matter to consider. Usually, teeth depend on each other for completing their task. When you lose a tooth

  • The adjacent teeth will become loose, drift or tilt into the empty space.
  • The tooth present opposite the missed tooth will also start growing to fill up the empty space.
  • The empty space becomes a breeding ground for bacteria which increases the risk of tooth decay, cavities and gum diseases.
  • The bone beneath the missed tooth will shrink – which will further change the way jawbone supports the lips. Over time, this can even change the look of your face near lips.

You can avoid such negative issues by simply options for restoration works. One of the best restorative methods for replacing missed teeth is a Fixed Bridge.

What is a Fixed Dental Bridge?

Dental bridges have been used for filling the gap created by missed teeth. Apart from protecting the adjacent teeth and jawbone, dental bridges will help to maintain the proper smile and prevent any dental complications in the future. Though dental bridges are available in both removable and fixed – most of the people prefer fixed ones. Fixed bridges are attached to present implants to make them permanent. This is a hassle-free solution which looks exactly like natural teeth.

Why Fixed Dental Bridges…?

Though both temporary and permanent dental bridges are effective solutions for replacing the missing teeth – but fixed ones provide more benefits to patients. We have mentioned some of them below…

  • As it is a long lasting solution, it is very easy to maintain the structure of the surrounding teeth.
  • Fixed bridges have a strong structure so they can withstand the force of biting and chewing.
  • As the bridge is permanent, you will not face any problem while smiling, eating, talking orbiting. Because they will not become loose or fall out like temporary ones.
  • It is one of the affordable options than dental implants.

How is a Fixed Bridge Placed?

During the initial visit, the dentist will analyze the situation of the missing tooth, nearby teeth and jaw bone. This assessment will let the doctor if there is any decay in adjacent teeth and gums. Later, the adjacent teeth are prepared for the procedure.

This procedure includes recontouring the adjacent teeth by removing a small portion of the enamel. This provides enough space for placing the crown over the teeth. After that, impressions of the teeth are taken for making the model. Using this model, bridge, pontic and crowns are designed in the dental laboratory. Now, the dentist will provide a temporary bridge so that it protects the gum and teeth until the permanent dental bridge is placed.

During the second visit, the temporary bridge will be removed. New dental bridge (porcelain or metal) will be placed and adjusted as necessary. After the procedure is completed, multiple visits may be necessary to check the fitting, comfortability, and bite. The number of visits usually depends on the individual situation.

Who Performs Fixed Denture Procedure?

The procedure of fixed dental bridges is performed by prosthodontist – who have undertaken special training from a recognized academic institution. Fixed prosthodontics can be used in restoring single or multiple teeth.

What Materials are used in a Bridge?

Fixed bridges are made from ceramic, metal or a combination of these two materials. Usually, ceramics are bonded to the metal alloy. Usually, dentists discuss the material suitable enough for your mouth.

Caring for Your Bridge

Once the fixed bridges are implanted, maintaining them is very important. Because a bridge can lose its support if the surrounding teeth or jawbone holding the bridge are damaged by dental diseases. For maintaining proper oral health, follow the below tips…

  • Brush and floss twice a day. Brushing and cleaning between the teeth help in removing plaque or tartar (a sticky film of bacteria).
  • Make sure to clean between the teeth and under the bridge. There are several types of flossing tools present in the market – picks, threads or little brushes. Ask your dentist which type is suitable for you and works well with your bridge.
  • Visit your dentist regularly for check-ups and professionals cleanings.

Eat a nutrition balanced diet. Avoid processed foods like sugar and refined foods. Include more fruits, vegetables, and fiber than meat.

  • Before using any oral care products, look out for ADA Seal of Acceptance.
  • Avoid using teeth for opening packages, tags, bottles and perform other similar tasks.
  • Stop chewing on pencils, biting the nails, chewing ice and others.
  • Avoid chewing hard or sticky foods.
  • If you have a habit of grinding teeth then make sure to wear bruxism mouth guards.

How Much Do Dental Bridges Cost?

The price of fixed dental bridges usually depends on the material used, no. of teeth to be restored and other factors. Usually, they cost around 7,000 to 15,000 depending on the factors mentioned above. Some dental insurance companies cover this procedure but some of them may cover only some part of it depending on the premium and dental plan chosen by the individual.

How Long Do Dental Bridges Last?

As per University of Rochester Medical Center, the lifespan of a fixed dental bridge is usually 15 years and even more. If properly maintained with good oral hygiene and regular checkups then they last more than average lifespan. It not then the tooth decay or damage can lead to a weakening of natural teeth adjacent to the false tooth – which further fail the working of the dental bridge.

Will It Be Difficult to Eat With a Dental Bridge?

No, unlike some of the dental bridges, fixed ones actually make eating much easier. Until the recovery time and until you adjust to the new teeth, eat soft foods which are chopped into smaller pieces.

Will the Dental Bridge Affect My Speaking Capability?

When teeth are missing then it can be very difficult to speak. Actually, wearing a dental bridge with anterior teeth and proper procedure, you can speak properly again.

When can I resume normal activities after the procedure for fixed bridges?

Patients can resume to their normal daily activities as soon as the procedure is completed. However, during the recovery time, hey may have to adjust to drinking, speaking and eating with fixed bridges. Patients will be under anesthesia during the appointments so they should exercise some caution until numbness resolves after the procedure. Eating or drinking during this period should be avoided.

Is there any pain associated with the procedure for fixed bridges?

Usually when the dentist prepares the abutment teeth then the patient may experience a little discomfort. However while the actual procedure is performed, the area (where the surgery happens) is numbed using anesthesia so the patients will not feel anything. Dentists will provide painkillers for 2 days to avoid any pain after the procedure. If you are still facing any severe pain then you have to consult your dentist immediately.

Dental Implant or Fixed Bridge – Which one is better?

A dental bridge is less invasive than other ways and more invasive than a dental implant. However, unlike implants, the procedure for fixed dentures don’t replace a tooth root. For placing a bridge, the dentist will use the adjacent teeth as support. And one this support, a crown will be placed to fill the missing tooth space. When compared to pricing, bridges are much affordable than dental implants.

What are the Disadvantages of Fixed Dental Bridge?

Though fixed dental bridges are very helpful, they do come with some disadvantages. For supporting and proper insertion of the bridge, it is very important to prepare the abutment teeth. During this process, a small part of the adjacent teeth is removed (even the ones which are structurally sound and healthy). And while doing this process, large amounts of healthy tissue of tooth can get damaged. Sometimes, you can even experience tooth devitalization and endodontic treatment.

Can Fixed Dental Bridges be replaced?

Replacement of the dental bridge depends on the cause of failure. Tooth decay, cavities, breakage of the underlying metal frame, lack of proper oral care, fracture of abutment teeth and others. If the issue is with abutment tooth then the dentist will remove the bridge. Usually, fixed bridges are cemented to abutment teeth so first, the dentist will break the original bridge. Once the supporting teeth have been treated and if they are healthy and sound then the new bridge will be placed. However, if the dentist can’t restore the abutment teeth then they will be replaced with dental implants to support the bridge. If the porcelain coating of the bridge is fractured or chipped and the bridge is still strong then the dentist will repair the coating. In some cases, dentists will also repair a fractured pontic as well.

Can You Get a Cavity Under a Bridge?

Yes, it is possible to get a cavity under the bridge. In order to check the depth of the cavity under the crowns or bridge, an X-ray has to be taken. If the cavity is spread to the root then the bridge will have to be removed to the root canal and fill the decayed tooth. This is why it is important to maintain proper oral hygiene.

Am I too Old to Get Dental Bridge?

Most of the senior patients are suitable for getting a dental bridge. All you need for this treatment is that – your abutment teeth should be strong enough to support the bridge. Your health should also be strong enough to tolerate the anesthesia. Even if the adjacent teeth are not strong enough then the dentist may place the implants. However, the dentist will make sure you have enough bone volume for supporting the implants.

Is it Possible for Children to get Dental Bridges?

For pediatric patients, dentists rarely recommend fixed dental bridge procedure. Usually, if a child loses a tooth (due to decay or injury), the dentist will provide a space maintainer – which helps in preventing other teeth from drifting or shifting. The maintainer will also leave enough room for the permanent tooth to erupt. If your baby has lost a tooth then he/she will receive a bridge after the permanent teeth have developed and jaw has stopped developing. This usually occurs between the ages of 16 – 18.

Is it Possible to Get a Dental Bridge Right after the Tooth Extraction?

If the tooth is severely damaged or decayed then the dentist may recommend in removing the tooth and replace it completely. In most of the cases, a dentist can perform same day temporary bridge for filling the gap. When the gums are completely healed, the permanent bridge will be placed. However, in some cases, the situation may not be suitable for the even a temporary bridge. You dentist will determine the candidacy at the initial consultation.

Can I Get Fixed Dental Bridge if I am Pregnant?

As the health risks associated with anesthesia are high, pregnant women are recommended to avoid non-emergency dental treatment. Once the baby is born, you can get the dental bridge procedure done. For temporary reasons, the dentist can provide any solution.

How Much Time Should I Take Leave from Work to Receive Fixed Dental Bridge?

Usually, crown supported bridges don’t require any recovery time. However, in some cases, you will have to take out time for the procedure itself. If you are receiving an implant-supported bridge or if you are opting for dental sedation then you may have to take out 1 or 2 days from work.

How Long Does the Treatment or Procedure Take?

The time period of the treatment or procedure usually depends on the requirements. On an average, you may have to visit 2 – 3 times. And each appointment may last about 1 – 2 hours.

What Information Should I Provide My Dentist During My Initial Consultation?

If you are visiting a dentist for restorative treatment, you should be prepared to discuss your dental and physical health. Especially, if you have diabetes, kidney disease, high blood pressure, blood disorder or any other. And more importantly, it is very important to tell if you are pregnant and bring all the medications you are taking. Apart from that, be prepared to discuss cosmetic goals for the treatment. With all the important, the dentist will choose the right material and procedure suited for your smile.

Does Insurance Cover Fixed Dental Bridges?

Some plans cover the service while some of them don’t. In most of the cases, this depends on the insurance premium and policy. Most of the insurance companies only cover fixed bridges or removable partial denture.

How Many Teeth can be replaced with Fixed Dental Bridge?

In most of the cases, fixed dental bridges are used to replace not more than 2 teeth. However, this depends on the health of adjacent teeth as they are the source of support. If you require more than 2 teeth then there is a good chance that the surrounding teeth may not ideal for supporting the fixed bridge. The larger the gap the fewer chances of bridge stability. In most cases, while replacing more than 2 teeth, the most common recommendation is to use the implant for the third tooth. This implant can be helpful in supporting the bridge for the complete replacement.

Can We Remove Fixed Dental Bridges?

No, fixed dental bridges are not removable. However, for cleaning or if the bridge fails then the dentist will remove it. But you will not be able to remove it whenever you want. If you want removable ones then you ask the dentist for it instead of fixed ones.

Can you replace a bridge with an implant?

If the abutment teeth are no longer strong enough to support the bridge then the dentist may support to replace the bridge with the implant.

How Much Does a Dental Bridge Cost for One Tooth?

Usually, the dental bridge costs around However, the cost depends on the type of materials and other factors as well. So, for an appropriate quotation, it is better to visit the dentist.

Is it possible to repair the fixed dental bridge?

This depends on the failure reason of dental bridge. If the crown or cap of the bridge is cracked then it will be replaced with a new one. However, if the problem is the abutment tooth or bridge itself then replacing the whole bridge or replacing the abutment teeth with new ones is required.

How is Dental Bridge Made?

Actually, a bridge is made in a dental laboratory using materials like acrylic or porcelain, often with a metal framework. However, sometimes the dentist can make it in the office itself.

Can a Person with Crowns or Bridges Get Braces?

Placing braces over dental restorations is more difficult and challenging than to natural teeth. For patients with existing bridges, tooth movement can be controlled to a minimum and slowly to avoid any damage. And moreover, there is a possibility of crowns and bridges to incur damage during an orthodontic treatment. However, if the restorations are present at the back of the mouth then the damage will not be visible. You can ask the dentist to work on the crown once the braces are removed.

What is the Right Procedure to Clean My Dental Bridge?

You should take of the dental bridge just like you do with the natural teeth. So, it includes brushing and flossing. As it is a denture, you will have to clean underneath the bridge as well. You can do it using a brush or an oral irrigation device. These things can be purchased either in the local pharmacy or dental offices.

Common Problems Faced By Men with Dental Bridges

After the procedure of fixed dental bridge, I am facing unbearable pain and irritation. Why is this happening? And what should I do?

This pain can be caused due to several reasons. So, we recommend consulting a dentist as soon as possible. Medical professionals are better persons in understanding the problem and how to correct it. In the meantime, you can use denture pain relief cream or pain killers to soothe the pain and other discomforts caused by it.

I feel my dental bridge is very loose. What should I do?

If you are experiencing any of the below symptoms then it is sure that the bridge is lost.

  • When you touch the bridge then it will move.
  • Your teeth and gums feel very sensitive.
  • Facing difficulty while biting or chewing.
  • Experiencing bad taste in the mouth (which can be caused due to food stuck between the bridge or tooth decay).

So, if the bridge is loose then it is better to consult your dentist as early as possible. But sometimes it may not be possible to get a dentist appointment immediately.

My dental bridge has fallen out. What should I do?

If the fixed bridge has come out then speak to your dentist as soon as possible. Usually, they may want to meet you in person to check the reason. Meanwhile, you can try out the below steps for placing it back…

  • Remove any debris underneath and around the tooth, teeth or crown.
  • Place the crown over the intended tooth to testing out.
  • Using little – nil pressure, close your teeth together to make sure the crown is placed properly.
  • Now, remove the crown and fill it with denture adhesive.
  • Later, using nil – a little pressure, close your teeth together. Make sure the crown is placed properly.
  • Wipe away any extra adhesive rolling out of the bridge.

Though you follow this process, remember that this is just temporary and you have to visit the dentist to make sure the crown is placed properly to avoid any future negative reactions.

About Rama Dental Clinics:

When it comes to modern dentistry, no one beat the quality of service and professionalism of Rama Dentals. At our dental centers, you will truly experience an exceptional service as we use most technically advanced systems. We have highly skilled professionals who will provide solutions you deserve. For any queries or dental service, don’t hesitate to call us or book an appointment.

Our Team

Dr. V. Shashi Kanth
MDS, Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon, Implantologist, Professor
Dr. V. Srilatha
Cosmetic Dental Surgeon
Dr. Dinesh
Cosmetic Surgeon and Root Canal Specialist