about our dental bridges

Removable bridges or removable partial dentures are appliances made to replace one or more missing teeth in an arc. Removable bridges all use the same type of tooth material but are differentiated by the materials used to hold the teeth to the partial denture and the way the partial denture attaches to the two (or more) teeth left in the arc (upper or lower).

A dental bridge is a type of restoration that uses two crowns to support one or more false teeth. Crowns are placed on two healthy “abutment” teeth, adjacent to the missing tooth. Then, another dental crown is built to literally “bridge” the gap. It’s supported by a wire-based framework and attached to healthy teeth to restore your smile.

an all-porcelain bridge from aquila dental

an all-porcelain bridge from aquila dental

Glen was missing a front tooth. Orthodontic treatment had generally straightened his teeth and left room for the dental crown of his missing tooth. However, there was not enough room between the roots of the surrounding teeth to place an implant. His options were to undergo further orthodontic treatment or place a dental bridge. Glen elected to go forward with a bridge but also wanted to make the surrounding teeth appear more uniform and esthetically pleasing. We discussed smile designs and material options with Glen and made a custom wax model of how we wanted everything to look before proceeding. An all porcelain bridge, porcelain crowns, and porcelain veneers were used to provide Glen with a fantastic new smile.

UNDERSTANDING how dental bridges are placed

Dental bridges are placed using a similar process. During your first appointment, Dr. Richard Higgs will prepare the teeth that will be treated. Then, he uses an advanced Itero 3D scanner to take images of your teeth. This provides better, more accurate results compared to dental impressions, and also enhances patient comfort.

The scans are then sent to a third-party dental lab, where your bridge is custom made for your smile. In the meantime, Dr. Richard Higgs will send you home with a temporary bridge. However, in some cases, we are able to create your crown in our office in a matter of minutes using CEREC technology.

If your prosthesis is created at a lab, you’ll come back for your last appointment when it arrives at our office. Dr. Richard Higgs will prepare your teeth and clean them, then check to make sure it fits perfectly in your mouth. Once the bridge is determined to be a perfect fit, Dr. Richard Higgs will permanently place it, completing the procedure.

EXPLORE dental bridge options

At Aquila Dental, we offer our Chandler dental patients options when it comes to bridges. No matter what your specific dental bridge need is, Aquila Dental can accommodate it!

temporary acrylic removable partial denture

Known as the “Flipper” in dentistry, this is generally the least expensive alternative to replacing missing teeth. Some flippers will have a wire clasp to help attach the acrylic base to the teeth while others will have no clasps at all. These types of removable partial dentures have an acrylic base made exactly the same as a complete denture. The biggest benefit of this type of removable partial denture is that it can be made before any teeth are removed and delivered the same day as the extractions are done. Then, if more teeth need to be removed later, teeth can be added easily and economically to the flipper.

cast framework partial dentures

As the name implies, these are partial dentures which have a cast metal framework supporting denture acrylic and teeth. These partials are mainly tooth supported and retained and are therefore extremely stable. The metal framework is cast extremely thin and is therefore much less noticeable than the acrylic framework partials. The clasps are designed to retain the partial in place and the teeth are altered slightly to allow the patient to bring their teeth all the way together without interfering with the clasps. This also makes it possible to place the clasps in positions which are less visible than wire clasps. The cast framework is also very strong and is less likely to break than acrylic, and since the metal does not rest on tissue, but on teeth, these partials do not sink below the level of the teeth. Finally, since there is little contact with the soft tissue, sore spots are not much of a problem.

flexible framework partial dentures

The newest types of partial dentures are made from a nylon-like material and are called Valplast (the most common) or Flexite partials. This material replaces the metal and acrylic of a standard partial denture. The clasps that hold the partial to the teeth are made of the same pink material and are generally indistinguishable from the gums, a very nice esthetic advantage. The material is also nearly unbreakable so it can be made quite thin, a distinct advantage over the acrylic framework partials.

combination metal framework with flexible clasp partials

For the patient with high esthetic demands who also needs the most stable framework possible, we are now able to make a metal framework with clasps made of the pink material used in Valplast or Flexite partials. This allows us to hide the clasps while alleviating many of the sore spot problems associated with flexible frameworks.

EXPLORE cemented dental bridges

Searching for a permanent solution to missing teeth? Cemented bridges from Aquila Dental offers a sturdy, permanent solution to a gap in your smile. Learn more about cemented dental bridges from Aquila Dental below.

what is a cemented dental bridge?

A cemented bridge is a way to replace one or more missing teeth to help restore function and or esthetics. A cemented bridge generally requires at least one tooth on either side of the missing tooth or teeth to provide the attachment and support for the bridge. First, the teeth on either side of the missing tooth or teeth are prepared for crowns. A dental laboratory then creates a bridge out of one of three materials: porcelain fused to a cast metal framework, porcelain fused to a tooth-colored framework, or a full gold bridge. The teeth with the crowns serve as “abutments” to the bridge, and the missing teeth that occupy the space between the abutments are called pontics. The bridge connects all of the teeth, abutments and pontics.

A bridge is beneficial because it restores function and esthetics where needed. The loss of a tooth can cause a number of problems, including loss of chewing effectiveness, increased stress on the remaining teeth to “pick up the slack,” shifting of the teeth behind and above the tooth which is lost, leaving other teeth non-functional and continuing the cycle. And lost front teeth poses an esthetic dilemma for most people.

A cemented bridge is typically made in two visits, the first being the preparation appointment and the second the bridge insertion.

When a tooth is lost, you generally have three options for replacement: 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 be prepared or “shaved down” to make room for the crowns.