Complete Fixed Bridges
A complete fixed bridge is a full arch of replacement teeth that is supported by several dental implants. It is a permanent solution that will give you a smile indistinguishable from natural teeth in appearance, feeling, function, and maintenance. If you are missing a complete arch of teeth or even both arches, our team of professionals at Central Dental Specialists is happy to consult with you about complete fixed bridges.
Dentures vs. Bridges
For many years, complete dentures were the only option for replacing an entire arch or set of teeth. Dentures are removable false teeth attached to an acrylic base that fits over your gums. They do not require surgery and are less expensive than complete fixed bridges, but are more fragile and require more maintenance. You are supposed to remove your dentures every night to clean them, and because your jaw gradually changes shape when you lack natural teeth, dentures stop fitting properly over time and typically need to be replaced every five to seven years.
In contrast, a complete fixed bridge is a permanent, secure option for replacing a full arch of teeth. While it initially requires invasive surgery and a significant financial investment, the final product is not only more natural in appearance than dentures, but much easier to care for as well. You do not need to remove the bridge for cleaning (in fact, you cannot because it is cemented in place), and can care for your prosthetic teeth exactly the same as if they were your natural ones. And unlike dentures, complete fixed bridges should last decades or even a lifetime because the dental implants retain the shape of your jaw and prevent bone deterioration.
What to Expect With Complete Fixed Bridge Placement
Just like with any dental procedure, you will need to come into our office for a consultation first to determine if a complete fixed bridge is suitable for your needs. We will work together to develop a treatment plan, which in most cases involves two surgeries and can span several months, including healing time.
Complete fixed bridges are usually supported by five or six dental implants, which are titanium posts that are inserted into the jawbone. Healing time will vary based on the individual patient, but it often takes a few months for the jaw to heal completely and for the implants to fuse with the bone, a process called osseointegration. Once the implants have healed, the incisions are reopened and support structures called abutments are placed. We will take impressions in order to custom engineer your complete fixed bridge, and you will be given a temporary bridge in the meantime. When the bridge is ready, we will attach it to the abutments and cement it in place. We will also give you specific care instructions and schedule a follow-up appointment to ensure that your bridge is working properly.
Complete fixed bridges are an excellent solution if you are missing a full arch or both arches of teeth. They provide complete restoration of your smile, support jaw strength, and allow for natural speaking and eating. To learn more about complete fixed bridges and schedule a consultation, call Central Dental Specialists at (781) 438-6618 today.