An excellent way to replace several missing teeth is a non-removable solid unit formed by a combination of crowns, supported by the adjacent teeth, and a fake tooth that fills in the gaps caused by missing teeth, known as fixed bridge.
There are several types of bridges, according to the material and the procedure. Bridges can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain or a combination of these materials. Unlike removable bridges, which can be taken out by patients themselves, only a dentist can remove fixed bridges.
Fixed bridges restore functionality, balance chewing stress on all teeth, improve speech articulation, restore the smile, prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position, and re-enforce the aesthetics of the dental arch.
Getting a fixed bridge usually takes two or more dentist visits. An impression is taken, and the abutment teeth are prepared at the first appointment. Additionally, a natural looking provisional bridge is placed to be worn while the fixed bridge is fabricated in a dental laboratory.
At the second appointment, the final restoration is adjusted, and checked to achieve a proper fit to permanently cement it onto the abutment teeth at a later time.
The type of bridge the dentist suggests will depend upon the strength and health of the anchoring teeth, as well as the location of the toothless gap. Even though fixed bridges are highly durable and will last for many years, they may need to be replaced or re-cemented over time, due to normal wear.