Dental Bridge Options

A bridge — a device used to replace missing teeth — attaches artificial teeth to adjacent natural teeth, called abutment teeth. Bridges are either permanently attached (fixed bridges), or they can be removable.

Fixed bridges are applied by either placing crowns on the abutment teeth or by bonding the artificial teeth directly to the abutment teeth. Removable bridges are attached to the teeth with metal clasps or by precision attachments.

If you’re missing one or more teeth, you may be aware of their importance to your appearance and dental health. Your teeth work together for many daily functions from eating to speaking. With missing teeth, it’s difficult to do these things. Missing teeth can and should be replaced. Fixed bridges are a great way to restore your dental health and appearance.

What exactly is a bridge or fixed partial denture?

A bridge (fixed partial denture) is a device which fills the gap where teeth are absent. Fixed bridges are bonded into place and can only be removed by a dental professional. Removable bridges, as the name implies, can be taken out and cleaned. Fixed bridges offer more stability than their removable counterparts.

 

Dentures

A denture or a complete denture as it is often called, is an appliance that is inserted in the mouth, replaces natural teeth and provides support for the cheeks and lips.

Most dentures are made of acrylic and can be fabricated two different ways.

  • A conventional denture is made after all teeth have been extracted and the tissues (gums) have healed.
  • An immediate denture is fabricated and inserted immediately after the teeth are extracted and the tissues are allowed to heal under the denture.
  • An upper denture has acrylic, usually flesh colored, that covers the palate (roof of the mouth).
  • A lower denture is shaped like a horseshoe to leave room for the tongue.

The teeth are made of plastic, porcelain or a combination thereof. Dentures can be fabricated to fit over endodontically treated teeth and a complete denture can be attached to dental implants to allow for a more secure fit of the appliance.

Dentures over a normal course of time will wear and need to be replaced or relined in order to keep the jaw alignment normal. The alignment will slowly change as the bone and gum ridges recede or shrink due to the extraction of the teeth. Regular dental examinations are still important for the denture wearer so that the oral tissues can be checked for disease or change.

 

Dental Implants

Dental implants are available for patients that have lost a tooth (or teeth) due to disease, fracture, or accidents. Extreme care must be taken in the treatment planning and placement of implants. Dr. Crow offers final restorations for all implant types including crowns, bridges, and implant overdentures. This will allow the patient to be go about their daily activities without the embarrassment of tooth loss.