Complete Fixed Bridges (Non-Removable)
If all of your teeth are missing or in a condition where they need to be replaced
, you may be wondering about your next step. At Dallas Prosthodontics we offer a wide variety of restoration options that can help replace your teeth and fix your oral health problems. One such solution is known as a complete fixed bridge. Complete fixed bridges can provide you with a permanent set of replacement teeth and give you back a smile you deserve.
What Are Complete Fixed Bridges?
Complete fixed bridges are full arch restorations that consist of dental implants, abutments, and prosthetically manufactured teeth. They are typically made from porcelain and other materials. Porcelain is highly malleable, allowing us to replicate the light-reflecting properties of tooth enamel, and provide the strength needed to support your bite force. Traditional bridges rely on surrounding teeth for support, while complete fixed bridges use dental implants and the existing bone structure of your jaw.
Why You Should Fix Your Teeth
Having problematic teeth or no teeth at all can affect the way you speak, chew, and most importantly, the way you feel about yourself. Your self-confidence can drop dramatically if you feel embarrassed by your smile. It can have serious consequences in both your personal and professional life.
Your teeth also help to protect the structural integrity of your jaw. Once you lose them, you lose the physical stimulation needed to keep your jaw bone healthy. Your bone will begin to deteriorate in a process known as resorption. Dental implants fuse to your jaw, stop the process, and even prevent future bone deterioration.
The Implant Process
Dental implants are tiny titanium screws that are surgically placed into the jaw. For implants to be successful, there needs to be a significant amount of bone. If the patient does not have enough bone, we can perform a bone graft. In a severe case, implantation may not be possible.
The length of the implant process can vary depending on individual circumstance. If a bone graft is necessary, the process can take over a year. If done traditionally, the entire process can be as short as six months.
The Procedure for Complete Fixed Bridges
Complete fixed bridges start with a consultation visit. We will perform a complete oral exam, 3D scans, X-rays, and review your dental history. Once we have determined you are suitable for a complete fixed bridge, we can begin to develop a treatment plan that makes you comfortable and provides you with your desired smile.
We need to perform two surgeries to complete the process. These are minor operations, but they do require the use of local anesthetic and other sedation methods to reduce pain and discomfort.
During the first surgery, we will remove any remaining teeth, and make an incision for each implant. Each bridge is typically supported by five or six implants. After we place the implants securely into the jawbone, each incision will be sutured, and the operation is complete. After a period of about a week, we can remove the sutures. In many cases, we make an impression of your gums and create a temporary prosthesis.
The healing process can take several months to complete. Once each implant has properly healed and fused with the bone, we can schedule the second surgery. During the second surgery, we will reopen each incision and expose the implant. A collar will be placed on each implant to keep the gum away and ensure proper healing.
During your next visit, the collars are removed, and your abutments (support structures) will be placed. A final impression will be made, sent to a dental laboratory, and technicians will fabricate your complete fixed bridge. Once the restoration is complete, we can “load the implants, ” and you can walk out of the office with a bright new smile.
How to Care for Your Complete Fixed Bridge
Caring for your complete fixed bridge is quite simple. You can treat your new teeth as you would your natural ones. Maintain good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing twice daily. Make sure to use a nonabrasive fluoride toothpaste. Shortly after your restoration is installed, we will schedule a follow-up visit to make sure your mouth is responding appropriately. This can be a crucial step for the future of your oral health.
Benefits of Complete Fixed Bridges A complete fixed bridge is a permanent solution that will drastically improve your life. Complete fixed bridges function like your natural teeth. You will be able to eat and drink as you normally would, with an unmatched comfort level. Your speech is also unaffected because the restoration does not slip or feel bulky.
Thanks to advances in modern dentistry, complete fixed bridges are often indistinguishable from natural teeth, making them discrete. They also help you retain the natural shape of your face by preventing bone deterioration in the jaw.
Complete fixed bridges are durable and long-lasting. With the right care and maintenance, complete fixed bridges can last decades or even a lifetime.
At Dallas Prosthodontics, we offer several alternatives to the complete fixed bridge.
||Removable overdentures. This type of restoration clips into a metal bar that we attach to the dental implants. The teeth are fused into a single piece and meant to be removed at night for cleanings.
||All-on-4. All-on-4 is a fixed over denture restoration similar to a complete fixed bridge. The biggest benefit is a reduced number of implants. Thanks to a patented technique, these restorations only require four implants, instead of five or six.
||Complete dentures. For years, this was the only solution to total tooth loss. They must be removed to be cleaned, and need to be replaced or repaired every three to eight years. Some patients find them to be the best option due to their low cost and easy installation process.
Call Today to Schedule Your Consultation
If you are tired of your problematic or missing teeth, we can help. Call us today at (972) 503-7200, and schedule a consultation visit.