Partial Fixed Bridges (Non-removable)
When you have multiple failing or missing teeth
, you have a few treatment options to consider. One of the most reliable options is a partial fixed bridge. A partial fixed bridge is a permanent solution that can help restore your smile and prevent future issues. At Dallas Prosthodontics, we pride ourselves on providing industry-leading procedures like partial fixed bridges.
What Are Partial Fixed Bridges?
A partial fixed bridge is similar to a traditional bridge but supported by implants instead of dental crowns. With a traditional bridge, the surrounding teeth are reshaped, capped, and used to support the restoration. Partial fixed bridges allow us to avoid reshaping, preserve more of your natural teeth, and establish a better future for your oral health.
We typically place a dental implant
for each missing or troubled tooth. The crowns are connected to each other to form one piece and then loaded onto the implants. Partial fixed bridges can also be used to alleviate pressure on individual implants adjacent to one another. Clenching or teeth grinding can increase the chances of an individual implant loosening from the jawbone. A partial fixed bridge can help distribute pressure evenly and prevent implant failure.
Why You Should Fix Your Teeth
Missing teeth can have severe consequences on your oral health. If left untreated, the surrounding teeth will begin to compensate for the open space. This can affect your bite, causing possible problems with the tissue and joints in your jaw. An open space in your gum can also be easily wounded by food debris. The deep pockets serve as a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. This can eventually lead to gum disease and decay, resulting in further tooth loss.
This can also lead to bone deterioration in the jaw. Over time, your bone will begin to resorb into your blood stream. Dental implants can provide the necessary physical stimulation to keep your jaw healthy and preserve your facial structure.
The Implant Process
Each dental implant consists of a small titanium screw and a cylindrical support structure known as an abutment. The abutments attach to the top of the screw and anchor the restoration to the implant. Abutments can be made from titanium, gold, or porcelain. Porcelain abutment is growing increasingly popular because they improve the esthetics of the restoration.
Each screw is made from titanium
because titanium has the unique ability to fuse with living bone. This process can take anywhere from 5 months to over a year, depending on individual circumstance. Some patients may not have enough existing bone to support the implant. In this case, we may need to perform a bone graft
procedure. This can drastically increase the length of the process.
The Procedure for Partial Fixed Bridges
During a consultation visit, Dr. Castellon or Dr. Buskin will perform a comprehensive exam. This includes an oral exam, CT scans, X-rays, and a review of your complete dental history. We will take an impression of your gums and surrounding teeth so that preliminary models of your new restoration can be made. Once we have determined you to be a suitable candidate for a partial fixed bridge, we can schedule your first surgery.
The operation is minor, but it does require the use of local anesthetic. We can use sedation techniques as well, depending on individual preference. A small incision will be made for each implant. The implant is placed underneath the gum tissue and into the jawbone. After the implantation is complete, we will suture the incisions. Once the incisions have healed, we can remove the sutures. This typically takes about a week.
After about four to six months, your implants should be properly healed and fused to your bone. If you received a bone graft, this could take eight to eleven months. Once we have confirmed that your implants have fused, we can schedule a second minor surgery.
During this surgery, we will expose the implants and place a collar (or healing cap). This helps guide the gums to heal correctly. Once they have healed, we can place the abutments and take a final impression. Using this final impression, we will fabricate a fixed partial bridge. During this time, you may be given a temporary bridge to protect the implant.
After your restoration is complete, we can place the bridge and make sure all the components fit together correctly. It may take several adjustments to get everything right. Before you leave the office, we will give you specific instructions on how to care for your new bridge.
How to Care for Your Partial Fixed Bridge
The most important thing to remember is cleaning the area between the gum and the bridge. We may recommend a special type of floss or small brush to help clean the hard-to-reach spots. Otherwise, you can treat your bridge as you would your normal teeth. Usually, the bridge will be made out of porcelain. It is important to use a nonabrasive fluoride toothpaste to avoid damaging your restoration.
If you are experiencing any problems with your bridge, make sure to call us immediately. You may need to come in for an adjustment. Regular check-ups every six months are also highly recommended.
Partial Fixed Bridge Alternatives
There are several alternatives to partial fixed bridges. At Dallas Prosthodontics, we also offer anterior bridges
. These bridges require a reshaping of your surrounding teeth and are supported by dental crowns. We use a special cement to secure the bridge and restore your visible smile. This is a less expensive and time-consuming alternative.
We also offer removable partial dentures
. Removable partial dentures consist of false teeth set on an acrylic base. They are similar to full dentures, but they use a metal clasp to attach to adjacent teeth and hold them in place. They are meant to be taken out at night and cleaned. Partial dentures are also a less expensive and time-consuming alternative. However, if they are not properly cared for and maintained, the health of your surrounding teeth may be jeopardized.
Call Today About Partial Fixed Bridges
If you are interested in learning more about partial fixed bridges, contact us at (972) 503-7200
, and schedule a consultation visit today.