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Dental Bridges

Dental Bridges (Actual Photos of patients at our clinic)

What is a bridge?

A bridge is a dental appliance that replaces one or more natural missing teeth, thereby “bridging” the space between two teeth. Bridges are cemented into place on the “abutment” teeth–the surrounding teeth on either side of the space or span. Unlike removable partial dentures , bridges cannot be taken out of the mouth by the patient .

A bridge is a device that typically consists of three units-a pontic (a false tooth) fused between two crowns that are cemented onto the abutment teeth.



Who should get a bridge?

A person with missing teeth and committed to maintaining good oral hygiene practices, is a good candidate for a bridge. A bridge is the most natural choice to fill the space in the mouth left by missing teeth. If left unfilled, this space can cause the surrounding teeth to drift out of position and can cause teeth and gums to become more susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease that can cause further tooth loss. Bridges not only correct an altered bite, improve the chewing ability and speech, but they also safeguard the appearance by preventing the collapse of facial features that can cause premature wrinkles and age lines.

What type of bridges are there?

Besides traditional bridges, another popular design is the resin bonded or “Maryland” bridge, primarily used for the front teeth. This is usually the most economical choice when the abutment teeth are healthy and don’t contain large fillings. The pontic is fused to metal bands that can be bonded to the abutment teeth with a resin cement and hidden from view, reducing the amount of preparation on the adjacent teeth.

A cantilever bridge may be used if there are teeth on only one side of the span. This involves anchoring the pontic to one side over one or more natural, adjacent teeth. If there are no adjacent teeth to act as anchors, an implant is recommended–a metal post that is surgically embedded into the bone and capped with a crown as an abutment. In some cases where the span is large, a removable partial denture is recommended or even an implant-supported prosthesis.

What is the procedure of its fabrication?

For a traditional fixed bridge, the first appointment consists of reducing the adjacent abutment teeth that will act as anchors. Impressions are made, from which a metal framework, including the pontic, is created. By the second appointment, the final bridge is fitted over the teeth. The total treatment time is usually around one week, depending on the type of bridge.