A dental bridge is a fixed (non-removable) appliance and is an excellent way to replace missing teeth in cases where a dental implant cannot be placed. Some reasons dental implants cannot be placed are lack of quantity of bone, lack of quality of bone, previous head and neck radiation treatment, and a low maxillary sinus floor.
There are several types of bridges. You and your dentist will discuss the best options for your particular case. The “traditional bridge” is the most popular type and is usually made of porcelain fused to metal, although advances have been made in metal free, pure ceramic bridgework.
Porcelain fixed bridges are most popular because they resemble your natural teeth. This type of bridge consists to two crowns that go over two anchoring teeth (abutment teeth) and are attached to pontics (artificial teeth), filling the gap created by one or more missing teeth.
Dental bridges are highly durable and will last many years, however they may need replacement or need to be re-cemented due to normal wear and flexure endured during the chewing cycle and clenching.
Reasons for a fixed bridge:
Fill space of missing teeth.
Maintain facial shape.
Prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position.
Restore chewing and speaking ability.
Restore your smile.
Upgrade from a removable partial denture to a permanent dental appliance.
Dental implants cannot be placed.
What does getting a fixed bridge involve?
Getting a bridge usually requires three or more visits. While the teeth are numb, the two anchoring teeth are prepared by removing a portion of enamel to allow for a crown. Next, a highly accurate impression (mold) is made which will be sent to a dental laboratory where the bridge will be fabricated. In addition, a temporary bridge will be made and worn for several weeks until your next appointment.
At the second visit, we try in the framework of the bridge to achieve a proper fit. The margins (where the tooth meets the edge of the restoration) are checked for no gaps, and the foundation of the prosthesis is checked for any rocking or instability. Think of the framework as the foundation of a house, and the next step is to create the esthetics.
At the third visit, the bridge arrives finished. It is tried in to assure a correct fit and the bite is adjusted if needed. Occasionally your dentist may only temporarily cement the bridge, allowing your teeth and tissue time to get used to the new bridge. The new bridge will be permanently cemented at a later time.
You will receive care instructions at the conclusion of your treatment. Proper brushing, flossing and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new permanent bridge.