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Fixed Partial Denture (Bridge)
One form of  replacement for a missing tooth or teeth is the fixed partial denture, also called a fixed bridge. The fixed bridge is a restoration which cannot be easily removed by the dentist or the patient. It restores the missing parts of your dental arch much more effectively than a removable partial denture. Certain requirements must be met before a fixes bridge can be placed in your mouth,. The health of the teeth adjacent to the space is most important. The teeth next to the space caused by the missing tooth (or teeth) must have sound gum and bone support and be free from any infection. The fixed bridge gets its entire support from these important adjacent teeth. Dr. Raul Reyes will x-ray and thoroughly examine these important teeth before recommending the fixed bridge.

Fixed bridges are usually made with porcelain teeth.  Porcelain is well suited to reproduce shades and colors of natural teeth. Modern porcelains are stronger than ever before and may even be used on the biting surfaces of the back teeth.

Crowns and bridges or fixed partial dentures require exact work by Dr. Reyes.  The technical steps involved are very detailed,  and may even be used on the biting surfaces of the back teeth.

 Long appointments should be expected. The technical steps involved are very detailed, and each step must be correct before proceeding to the next. These steps:

  1. shaping the adjacent teeth, making proper temporary crowns,
  2. taking accurate impressions,
  3. and properly fitting the bridge - will be well worth the time you spend.

Bridges, Partial Dentures and Complete Dentures:  This information is the same as under the page DENTURES / PARTIALS. But it also applies to this page.
Teeth are meant to be a permanent part of your body, not something to lose as you get older. Modern concepts of root canal therapy, orthodontic treatment, and plaque control greatly reduce the need for extracting (pulling) teeth. However, accidental loss, certain root fractures, and periodontal disease still cause loss of teeth. The replacement of missing teeth becomes a part of restoring your mouth to a healthy condition. Any artificial replacement of a natural body part is called a prosthesis. There are four types of prosthetic appliances used to replace missing teeth:

  1. A removable  partial denture,
  2. A complete denture
  3. A fixed partial denture (bridge)
  4. Implant

A fixed partial denture (bridge) is permanently cemented into the mouth. A complete denture replaces all of the teeth in the upper or lower jaw. Partial dentures replace one or more teeth and get their support from nearby teeth. The type of replacement needed is determined by the number and location of the missing teeth or tooth.

Missing teeth should be replaced for several reasons:

  1. To prevent shifting and drifting of the adjacent tooth or teeth;
  2. to prevent the tooth in the opposite jaw from growing into the empty space;
  3. to maintain the dental arches so that food can be chewed efficiently;
  4. to restore the proper facial appearance after the loss of a front tooth;
  5. to prevent formation of food traps around the missing tooth space;
  6. to restore the entire dental arch to a normal healthy condition.