Bridges – Fixed Bridges | Delmarva Dental Services

Bridges – Fixed Bridges

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A fixed bridge is a replacement for missing teeth. It consists of an attachment of one or more fake teeth attached to the teeth next to the space. Therefore, it requires at least one tooth on each side of the space. It is characterized in several ways. By the number of teeth involved, the design and the materials used.The number of teeth involved is the sum of the number of fake teeth and the number of tooth attachments. For example a three unit bridge would consist of one fake tooth and two tooth attachments. The more teeth involved the more costly the bridge.The fake tooth is the same regardless of the bridge design, but the attachment to the tooth varies in three ways. In a full coverage bridge, the attachment covers the adjacent teeth entirely like a crown or cap. The attachments fit in the adjacent teeth like fillings in an inlay bridge. With a bonded or Maryland bridge, the attachments are exterior to the adjacent teeth.The following materials are used in bridges: all metal, all porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, plastic and zirconium. At Delmarva Dental Services we have experience in all these types of bridges. Fixed bridges have a 70% success rate over 15 years. All Porcelain (Zirconium) Bridge. This type of bridge is the newest type bridge. It contains no metal and is stronger than porcelain fused to metal bridge. It is best for the lighter shades of teeth or when lighter porcelain veneers are also being done. It also requires the removal of tooth structure of the adjacent teeth but not as much as porcelain fused to metal bridge.
Porcelain fused to Metal Bridge This type of bridge has been the most popular for the last 40 years. It is tooth colored and the metal is hidden. The metal reinforces the porcelain making it stronger. The success rate of bridges is about 70% after 15 years. The lesser number of units (shorter bridge) the greater the success rate. Different quality of metals can be used with the porcelain: precious, semiprecious and non precious. Precious bonds the best with porcelain. Delmarva Dental Services has been using precious metal in their porcelain fused to metal bridges since 1981. The advantages of this type of bridge are its low fracture rate, high retention rate, low wear rate, years of proven success, and relative esthetics. Most dental laboratories are well versed in its fabrication. The disadvantages are the wear of the natural teeth that oppose the bridge. It also requires the reduction of the adjacent teeth by 2 millimeters.