A guide to permanent tooth replacement with cosmetic fixed porcelain dental bridges
Porcelain fixed dental bridges are just one of many ways that the Complete Health Dentistry SoCal team in Poway, California, can replace missing teeth or teeth that are severely damaged and require extraction. To better understand what this option for tooth replacement means, our dentist, Dr. Erela Katz Rappaport, breaks this procedure down for you:
- Porcelain – Dental ceramics such as porcelain are popular materials to rebuild portions of the teeth or an entire tooth. Porcelain produces a very natural appearance, the color of the rebuilt or replacement tooth blends in perfectly with the rest of the tooth or natural teeth. Additionally, it has many aesthetic properties designed to imitate the look of the natural tooth enamel, such as how the porcelain reflects light. Lastly, porcelain is coveted because it is strong and durable when bonded securely to the natural tooth structure.
- Fixed – This term refers to a permanent solution for tooth replacement. In the past, patients who were missing teeth and desired to fill in those gaps were left with removable options, such as “flippers.” Fixed or secured, permanent, and non-removable tooth replacement is an attractive alternative because such teeth are stable and require less maintenance and care than their removable counterparts. Patients generally report that they are more satisfied with how their replacement teeth look, feel, and function.
- Dental bridges – This form of tooth replacement gets its name from “bridging” the gap that is present between two teeth after a tooth falls out or is extracted. How is this done? The dental bridge is made up of a replacement tooth called a pontic and two dental crowns. The crowns are cemented to the teeth on either side of the gap, called abutments. So, once the crowns are in place, the gap is filled or “bridged” by the pontic.
Additional crowns and pontics can be used to replace more than one missing tooth. Since the pontic relies on the abutments or neighboring teeth for its stability, keeping the bridge as clean as possible is critical. We can demonstrate ways to efficiently and effectively brush and floss underneath the bridge. The process itself also involves slightly reducing the abutment teeth, so the crowns can fit on top of them well. Crowns are necessary for the abutments to properly “anchor” the replacement tooth.
Depending on what she finds during your evaluation and your personal preferences, Dr. Rappaport may discuss alternatives to conventional bridges. For instance, dental implant-supported bridges are anchored by dental implants positioned in the jawbone instead of other teeth. No reduction of natural tooth structure must be done to complete this process, and these bridges can generally be cared for like natural teeth – without special cleaning techniques or oral care products.
Regardless of the best option for you, our team will be there every step of the way to ensure your treatment is a lasting success. Call Complete Healthy Dentistry SoCal today at (858) 674-5954 to start the process, or reach out to us via this website.