A dental bridge is a fixed (non-removable) appliance and is an excellent way to replace missing teeth.
There are several types of bridges. We will discuss the best options for your particular case during a consultation. The “traditional bridge” is the most popular type and is usually made of porcelain fused to a metal substructure although non-metallic alternatives are available. This type of bridge consists of crowns (retainers) that go over the anchoring teeth (abutment teeth) and are attached to pontics (floating, 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. Bridges can be more challenging to clean around and therefore prone to decay. This is one reason implant restoration is the more contemporary recommendation for tooth replacement.
Reasons for a fixed bridge:
Fill space of missing teeth.
When implant treatment is contraindicated.
Prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position.
Restore chewing and speaking ability.
Cost effective when neighboring teeth need restoration also.
Upgrade from a removable partial denture to a permanent dental appliance.
What does getting a fixed bridge involve?
Getting a bridge requires at least two or more visits. Pre-planning requires study models, photographs and xrays. Careful examination of the patients "bite" is made and corrected if needed prior to most significant dental restorations and bridgework in particular.
While the teeth are numb, the anchoring teeth are prepared by removing a portion of enamel. If the supporting tooth have old fillings, the fillings are removed along with any decay and the teeth are built up with bonded core material to strengthen them and protect the pulp. 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 and serve as a prototype of the permanent bridge.
At the second visit, your permanent bridge will be carefully checked, adjusted, and cemented to achieve a proper fit. For more complex bridge cases, an intermediate appointment is used to check the fit of the substructure prior to total completion by the ceramist. The completed bridge is then delivered at the following appointment.
You will receive care instructions at the conclusion of the procedure. Proper brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new, permanent bridge.