A dental bridge is a fixed (non-removable) appliance designed to replace missing teeth.
There are several types of bridges. You and your dentist will discuss the best options for your particular case. Porcelain fixed bridges are the most popular because they resemble your natural teeth. This type of bridge consists of two crowns that go over two anchoring teeth (abutment teeth) and are attached to the pontics (artificial teeth) that will fill the gap created by your missing teeth.
Dental bridges are highly durable and will last for many years. However, they may need to be replaced or re-cemented at some point due to normal wear.
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
Reasons for crowns:
- Broken or fractured teeth
- Cosmetic enhancement
- Decayed teeth
- Fractured fillings
- Large fillings
- Final phase of root canal therapy
What does getting a fixed bridge involve?
Getting a bridge usually requires two or more visits. Your dentist will numb your teeth and make sure you are comfortable, and then prepare the anchor teeth 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 crowns and pontics comprising 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, you permanent bridge will be carefully checked, adjusted, and cemented to achieve a proper fit. 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 would then be permanently cemented at a later time.
You will receive care instructions at the conclusion of the procedure. Proper brushing, flossing and regular dental visits will aid in extending the life of your new permanent bridge.