Porcelain fixed bridges in Turlock have one thing in common with dentures — both options replace missing teeth. Beyond that, though, there are more differences than similarities between them. A porcelain fixed bridge is not removable like a denture, but fixed in your mouth. A porcelain fixed bridge doesn’t require special habits or materials to clean, but is maintained effectively by your careful commitment to daily dental hygiene. Whereas dentures have a lifespan of five to seven years and may require ongoing adjustments to accommodate your changing gums, dental bridges can last for 30 years or a lifetime.
Whether a porcelain fixed bridge is right for you and for restoring the appearance and function of your teeth is something to review with a dentist in Turlock familiar with your teeth and gums. Here is some of the information you should consider while contemplating an investment in porcelain fixed bridges near you.
The types of bridges
There are four primary types of bridges suitable in different settings and with specific advantages and disadvantages. A traditional fixed bridge is anchored in your mouth with dental crowns at each end of the bridge. Those crowns are placed on two abutment teeth and support the structure that holds replacement teeth called pontics in position.
Cantilever bridges are just like traditional fixed bridges, except they’re held in place with a single crown. They may be appropriate in locations exposed to lower chewing pressure — the front of your mouth, for example.
Resin-bonded bridges do use crowns but still rely on neighbouring teeth. A resin-bonded bridge (sometimes called a Maryland bridge) has “tabs” at either end that are bonded to the back of neighbouring teeth to hold the pontics in position. Like a cantilever bridge, Maryland bridges are appropriate only in low-stress locations in your mouth.
Implant-supported bridges don’t rely at all on neighbouring teeth. Rather, they’re implanted into your jaw bone for the strongest, most stable and most permanent solution to tooth loss. Being fit with implant-supported dentures requires no alterations to any other natural and healthy teeth.
Who is a good candidate for dental bridges?
To be a good candidate for traditional, cantilever or resin-bonded bridges, you must have healthy teeth on one or both sides of the gap in your smile being filled with artificial teeth. This is especially important in the case of a traditional or cantilever bridge that relies on one or two crowns, because some material will need to be removed from those abutment teeth to accommodate the crowns. If your neighbouring teeth are weak or damaged, they will not be able to support a bridge. In that case, an implant-supported bridge may be more appropriate.
To be a good candidate for receiving an implant-supported dental bridge from a dentist near you, you need to have adequate jaw bone density and mass to receive and support the implant itself. There are implant options for sub-optimal bone mass and density and procedures that can increase bone mass and density before undergoing an implant procedure, but they will lengthen the time and increase the expense of the process. Receiving dental implants is a more invasive process than other types of bridges and one that includes implant surgery. You must be well enough to undergo the surgery and not suffering from chronic conditions that impair your ability to heal, such as poorly controlled diabetes. Patients who drink or smoke may also be poor candidates unless they’re will to abstain for a specified period before and after the implant procedures.
The best way to find out what type of bridge is right for you is to arrange an appointment with a dentist near you who will review the health of your gums, teeth and jaw and lay out all the options while answering all your questions.