Another alternative is a fixed bridge (sometimes called a fixed partial denture.) This is a restoration that replaces or spans the space where one or more teeth have been lost. A fixed bridge is bonded or cemented into place—only a dentist can remove it.
Your appearance, dental health and the proper functioning of your mouth all are important reasons for wearing a fixed bridge. It helps maintain the natural shape of your face and may help support your lips and cheeks.
How a Fixed Bridge Is Attached
A fixed bridge is commonly cemented or bonded to the natural teeth next to the space left by the missing teeth. An artificial tooth (called a pontic) replaces the lost natural tooth, and restores its function. A pontic is attached to a crown (restoration that covers a tooth). Crowns, which are cemented an adjacent prepared teeth, serve as retainers that support the fixed bridge.
Different Types of Fixed Bridges
A fixed bridge may be attached to your natural teeth. Different types of artificial teeth may be used in fixed bridges. These include gold, porcelain fused to metal and all-porcelain. In some instances, a resin-bonded fixed bridge (sometimes called "Maryland Bridge") may be used to replace one or more missing teeth. Because it is attached by a special procedure called bonding, it doesn't require the use of crowns or extensive tooth preparation. Dr. Schnall will determine whether this treatment method is appropriate for you.