What is a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge is a false tooth that is used to fill the gap created by a missing tooth or missing teeth. Dental bridges use the two surrounding teeth as anchors to hold a false tooth in the place where the gap is. Typically, porcelain crowns are placed over the surrounding teeth, and the false tooth, known as a pontic, is fused between them.
Should I get a dental bridge if I’m missing teeth?
Leaving a gap between your teeth could lead to negative consequences. A gap can cause your teeth to shift resulting in a change in your bite that may cause pain. Having a bridge can prevent that problem. Another alternative is to get a dental implant if you are a candidate.
Types of dental bridges
There are three types of dental bridges that are commonly used today:
- Traditional fixed bridge – This is the most common type of dental bridge, in which porcelain crowns are placed over the two surrounding teeth and used as anchors to hold the false tooth in place. The false tooth is usually made of either porcelain fused to metal or ceramics.
- Cantilever bridge – This is used when teeth are present on only one side of the gap. These are used typically in areas of your mouth that doesn’t experience an intense chewing load, such as your front teeth.
- Resin-bonded bridge – In a resin-bonded bridge, metal bands are bonded to the surrounding teeth with resin and used to hold a plastic false tooth in place. This type of bridge is typically used in areas of the mouth that undergo less stress, such as the front teeth.
How it’s done
There are two visits required.
- The surrounding teeth are prepared to be fitted with a crown. This may including filing down the tooth so that the crown can fit over it.
- An impression is taken of your teeth which will be sent to a laboratory to prepare the bridge and crown.
- The dentist fits your teeth with a temporary bridge to protect them while the bridge is prepared at the laboratory.
- The temporary bridge is removed and the new bridge received from the laboratory is fitted and adjusted.
Multiple visits may be necessary to check and adjust the fit.