How can a fixed bridge replace a missing tooth?
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I just love the idea of family heirlooms. Heirlooms that are passed down from generation to generation. My wife has her grandmothers china from the 1920s, and on special occasions, we set the table. A beautiful white set, with a green leafy theme, and gold trim around the rim. We also have a china set that we purchased when we were married.  Four kids and 30 plus years later, as you can imagine, we have a few bowls and cups that have broken, and are missing.  A few years back I remember scouring the internet and searching eBay.  It was so satisfying, whenever I could find a match, that we could purchase to add to our set.

Do you have a complete set? A complete set of teeth? They can be so much like grandma’s exquisite china.  They are so beautiful, but they can be so delicate.  I saw a case recently where a gentleman was going to lose tooth #14, and he choose not to let his set go incomplete.

Before – Tooth #14, the middle tooth,  is unrestorable, and needs to be removed.

After –  A complete set with a 3 unit bridge in place.

The above two x-rays tell the whole story, start to finish. In the first x-ray, tooth #14 has a hole under the crown. The crown was removed and the decay was cleaned out, at that point it was determined that we would not be able to save the tooth, and we advised removing the tooth.  After removing the tooth, the second x-ray shows  how a fixed bridge was used to complete the set.

We use the word “fixed” to describe the fact that you can’t take the bridge out. It is placed with a permanent cement. These bridges are popular with our patients, because they don’t move when you chew. It’s just like getting your tooth back. The above X-rays are taken approximately 3 months apart.

3 unit dental bridge, still on the models.

Three unit P2Z bridge as it came from the dental lab. Double click to zoom in.

P2Z fixed Bridge

P2Z, (pronounced pee-two-zee) bridges are relatively new for us. Porcelain to Zirconium. They are absolutely beautiful, and in my opinion they are beautiful because they are metal free. Have you ever noticed a smile with a little bit of gray showing along the gum line? Instead of using metal, they are using zirconium for the underlying strength.  Instead of the metal gray, we now have zirconium white.  On top of the zirconium porcelain is placed for esthetics. The porcelain is where you get all the color gradient change, all the personality, the natural tooth beauty.  The above photo shows what we got back from the artists who work out at our dental lab in California.

Chewing surface of a bridge

Three unit fixed bridge.

In the above photo, we see a three unit bridge. Tooth #’s 13 & 15 are abutments, these are the two teeth that hold up the bridge.  Tooth #14, in the middle, is the pontic tooth.  That is the tooth that was replaced.

Tooth #14 & Tooth #19.

The upper bridge in functioning mode.

In this last photo we see the lower tooth, (#19) now has a tooth to chew against.  Tooth #14 is the new pontic tooth from the new three unit bridge.

Are you interest in getting your set complete again?  We at Seasons of Smiles Dental would love to help.  Give us a call at (207) 236-4740.


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