Fixed Dental Bridges in Modesto
A Long Term Solution for Replacing Teeth
When teeth are lost due to accidents, injury, or gum disease, we often recommend a special permanent 'bridge' appliance to replace the missing teeth. Such a bridge not only fills in the missing space, thereby preventing the remaining teeth from shifting around, but it also corrects an altered bite, improves chewing ability and speech articulation, and supports facial structures to preserve your normal appearance. Typically, we fix bridges permanently onto the neighboring or 'abutment' teeth with dental cement.
Most bridges consist of three basic units: the artificial tooth or teeth (or pontic) and two permanently attached crowns placed atop the abutment teeth. If you're only missing your front teeth, and your neighboring abutment teeth are healthy, you may find a single tooth implant a better choice since the healthy abutment teeth will not need to be prepared with the drill.
A toothless span lacking a posterior abutment tooth cannot be bridges using traditional fixed bridgework. Instead, either bridgework cemented to implant abutments, or individual single unit implants are used to replace the missing teeth. Partial dentures can also be used to restore gaps lacking a posterior tooth.
Bridge placement and fitting is a fairly simple process traditionally involving three steps. First, Dr. Jeppson will reduce your adjacent abutment teeth, preparing them to serve as bridge anchors. Next, he will take a careful impression of your mouth, from which our laboratory will design your metal framework and pontic. During the second appointment, we'll carefully fit the newly fabricated, custom-fit bridge over your teeth. Typically, the entire process requires two weeks, depending on the style of bridge being created. Occasionally, precision shade matching may stretch the time frame out a bit longer.
If you choose to have a bridge, you'll need to be especially conscientious about your oral hygiene to ensure that the anchoring area doesn't retain trapped food particles. This means twice daily brushing, daily flossing, and regular professional cleanings at our office. Sometimes we'll even recommend using floss threaders to help remove bacteria from hard to reach spaces between the bridge and your adjacent teeth and gums. If you omit this care, food debris and plaque will build up on your remaining teeth, quietly and steadily leading to gum disease or recurrent decay. Unfortunately, gum disease can result in the need to remove the bridge altogether, and recurrent decay can result in the entire bridge having to be replaced. However, with proper oral hygiene, you can expect your fixed bridge to last at least 8-10 years.