Fixed Partial Dentures

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Approximately half of the senior adult population of the United States wear fixed partial dentures due to loss of teeth caused by periodontal diseases, bacterial infections and gum diseases. Although the cost of this dental treatment varies depending on the oral condition of the patient, many senior citizens and even young adults who suffer from loss of teeth consider it a very important investment because of the several benefits and advantages one can obtain from it.

Definition of Fixed Partial Dentures

Fixed partial dentures are prosthetic dental restoration which is bonded permanently on the tooth’s roots, natural teeth or dental implants to help fill in gaps or spans as a result of one or more missing teeth.

In layman’s term, fixed partial dentures are often referred to as dental bridge literally because it acts as a bridge of teeth that are separated by mini gaps or spaces. It is made from variety of materials like combination of metal and ceramic, ceramic, metal alloys and composite resin.

Types of Fixed Partial Dentures

Fixed dental dentures are called in different names depending on the types of materials used. Below is a list of some of the most common names associated with it.

Maryland Bridge

This fixed partial denture is composed of a ceramic tooth which is fused onto a ceramic or metal plate. It contains retaining wings which adheres to the back of two adjacent teeth. It is ideal for replacement of a single tooth and is considered minimally invasive and economical.

Cantilever Bridge

The composition of a Cantilever Bridge is very much similar with that of a Maryland Bridge but instead of two teeth supporting it, it is only supported by one tooth. This is best done when only one tooth is available next to the missing tooth. It is ordinarily done in the front teeth area or areas of the mouth that receives minimal stress.

Pier Abutment

This type of dental fixed partial denture is best applied to several missing teeth. These are false teeth which span across either side of the existing tooth. It is made of variety of materials but requires dental implants in case there is very minimal tooth which can serve as anchor of the bridge.

Advantages of Fixed Partial Denture

Aside from adding aesthetic value to your face, fixed partial dentures also helps improve chewing and speech abilities of patients thus boosting a person’s self esteem and self-confidence. It helps correct altered bites and helps improve a personal appearance especially for the old since it helps delay or prevent age lines and wrinkles that occur when facial structures start to fall and with proper oral care and hygienic maintenance fixed partial dentures are expected to last for eight or ten years.

Disadvantages of fixed partial dentures

One of the common complaints associate with fixed partial dentures is its care and maintenance.  Some patients find it difficult to clean bridges especially the old thus resulting to bad breath, oral problems and gum inflammation. Nevertheless, this can be addressed through frequent dental cleaning and appointments so your dentist can evaluate the condition of your natural teeth and partial dentures.

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