In the event that a tooth must be extracted or if there is a congenitally missing tooth and a dental implant is not wanted or not possible, then a Fixed Dental Bridge can be made. This is done by trimming down all of the enamel off of the teeth on each side of the missing site and then constructing a series of crowns all joined together as a single joined section. The anchor crowns are called abutments and the in-between suspended crowns are called pontics. Fixed bridge construction requires a high strength supporting core, usually made from precious metal or high strength ceramic which is subsequently artistically layered with shaded porcelain layers. The bridge is then bonded over the abutment teeth and the pontic rests gently against the gum tissue of the missing tooth site.

Fixed bridges, when done well, can easily last 10 to 15 years or longer. A more conservative variation of the complete coverage bridge is a surface-bonded bridge that requires only a minimum of trimming of the enamel of the abutment teeth. The surface-bonded bridge does not have porcelain covering the abutment so a small amount of metal may be visible. In the right circumstances this type of bridge works exceedingly well and has less morbidity and less cost associated with it.

High strength ceramic core layered with enameling porcelain:

ZirconiaBrZirconiaBrLayered

For actual treatment pictures of Fixed Bridges see the Treatment Examples heading at the top of the pages bar.