Cemented Fixed Bridgework
In addition to dental implants, we have the option of constructing a fixed bridge that spans the space in the mouth where a tooth is missing or lost with an artificial tooth called a pontic. This fixed bridge and is always held with a minimum of two natural teeth on either side of the missing tooth or group of missing teeth.
Even though fixed bridge technology has been in use for most of the last century there have been dramatic improvements in the cosmetics of fixed bridges. There are situations in which an implant cannot be done or will not provide the cosmetic result desired. It is nice, then, that we have fixed bridgework as an option that is permanently cemented to teeth.
A cemented fixed bridge is typically made in two visits, the first being the preparation appointment and the second the bridge insertion.
Generally there are three replacement options for when a tooth is lost: a cemented bridge, a dental implant, or a removable bridge/partial denture. The restoration generally compared to a cemented bridge is the dental implant because both of these restorations are fixed in place. Implants are becoming the restoration of choice in dentistry for a missing tooth for a variety of reasons, mainly associated with the fact that the teeth next to the missing tooth or teeth do not have to prepared or “shaved down” to make room for the crowns. The following compares a typical 3 tooth cemented bridge replacing one tooth to a single tooth implant:
|Cemented Bridge||3 unit bridge||Single tooth implant|
|Success Rate||50% need to be redone within 10 years||97% or higher|
|Decay Rate||Most common cause for remakes||0%|
|Root Canal Rate||20% of abutments need root canals||0%|
|Can Be Performed for Missing Back Teeth||No||Yes|
|Preserves Bone in Area of Missing Tooth||No||Yes|