Dental Bridges

Missing Teeth Replacement in Pittsburgh

Patient's mouth before dental bridges
Patient's mouth after dental bridges

What exactly is a bridge or fixed partial denture?

A bridge (fixed partial denture) is a device that fills the space where a tooth or teeth are missing and is supported by teeth (or implants). Fixed bridges are bonded into place and can only be removed by a dentist. Removable bridges (removable partial dentures), as the name implies, can be taken out and cleaned. Fixed bridges offer much more stability than their removable counterparts.

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Oral function and appearance are important reasons for placing a bridge. A bridge helps support your lips and cheeks. You need this support to speak clearly and make your words understandable. You also need this support to look your best. The loss of back teeth may cause your mouth to sink in and your face to look older. Your dental health, however, is the most important reason for a bridge. Teeth were designed to work as a team, to complement one another. Missing teeth cause stresses on the gums and bone of adjacent teeth and can lead to gum disease or your teeth collapsing into the missing tooth space. Bridges can reduce the stresses and disorders caused by missing teeth.

How is a bridge attached?

The entire procedure usually takes three appointments to complete. At the first appointment, Dr. Supowitz will prepare the teeth (or implants) on either side of the space and create and place a plastic temporary bridge.

At the second appointment, impressions are taken of the supporting teeth (or dental implants). (Following this appointment, the final bridge is then precisely fabricated to ensure excellent esthetics, fit and bite.)

At the third appointment, the final bridge is refined for bite and color and cemented over the supporting natural teeth (or dental implants).

What materials are used?

In our office, bridges are constructed from biocompatible gold alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials. The result is strong, natural looking teeth.

How do I take care of my bridge?

A strict regimen of brushing and flossing keeps the supporting teeth (or implants) clean and the gums healthy. This is of critical importance.