Achieving a natural looking and realistic smile after tooth loss is possible with dental bridges. Dental bridges are one method used by dentists to fill a gap created by a missing tooth or teeth.
Dental bridges can be placed to fill in gaps left by missing teeth. Bridges not only make it easer for patients to speak and eat, but they also prevent surrounding teeth from shifting out of place. Dental bridges consist of one or more artificial teeth that are held in place by dental crowns The procedure to place a dental bridge requires two visits: one to prepare the adjacent teeth and take an impression of the area, and a second to place the bridge once it has been custom made from the impression.
Dental bridges, like implants and partial dentures, are used to replace missing teeth. There are several types of fixed dental bridges (cannot be removed), including conventional fixed bridges, cantilever bridges and resin-bonded bridges.
The materials used for the bridge include gold, porcelain fused to metal, or in the correct situation porcelain alone. The amount and type of reduction done to the abutment teeth varies slightly with the different materials used. The recipient of such a bridge must be careful to clean well under this prosthesis.
Typically, conventional and cantilever bridges require shaping of the teeth surrounding a missing tooth. Crowns are then placed on the shaped teeth and attached to an artificial tooth.
A resin-bonded bridge requires less preparation of adjacent teeth. It is often used to replace front teeth, provided that the gums are healthy and the surrounding teeth do not have extensive dental fillings.
The Dental Bridge Procedure
During the first visit, our dentist examines the health of your gums and other teeth to evaluate if you are a candidate for a dental bridge. If you are a candidate for a dental bridge, you are given a local anesthetic so your dentist can prepare the teeth required to support the bridge. If the support teeth are decayed or badly broken down, your dentist may have to build them back up before they can be used as support teeth for a bridge.
Next, our dentist takes an impression of the prepared teeth with a putty like material that is used to create a model of your teeth. Your bridge is fabricated based on this model by a skilled on-site lab technician so that it precisely fits the prepared teeth. It is important that your restoration fit perfectly to avoid additional oral health problems such as tooth decay.
While your bridge is being fabricated, our dentist fits you with a temporary bridge so the teeth and gums can be protected from damage until your permanent bridge is ready.
To complete the dental bridge procedure, you must return to our dental office for a second visit to have the bridge fitted and cemented.