A fixed prostodontic is any set of fixed crowns, ranging from two crowns side by side to sixteen crowns, with or without pontics (spaces). (If you are not familiar with the basic techniques of crown preparations, you should first take the prerequisite course on ‘Crowns.’) Fixed prostodontics is the process of extending the crown preparation to include more then one tooth. The teeth included in the fixed prostodontic (bridge) will be thought of as a whole. Thus, we are extending the principles of a single crown to include two to sixteen teeth, depending on the size of the fixed bridge.
To treat the bridge as a whole, the walls of the preparations must all be slightly convergent, in order to allow the fixed bridge to seat upon insertion. One wall that is slightly undercut will cause the fixed bridge to fail. A single tooth has four walls to consider, but a sixteen-unit bridge has sixty four walls, and if any one of these is slightly off, the bridge will fail. Dedi¬cated precision is a necessity.
It is recognized that dentistry is an art form. Each dentist will acquire a technique that works well for him or her. This course is not meant to replace this technique but to supplement it. A basic technique will be given for clarity, but each dentist’s ability to problem solve will ultimately be of greater value. This course will present the normal problems one encounters in fixed bridges and the methods of solving these problems, which were learned during forty years of experience and well over twenty-five thousand units of crowns and bridges.