Dental bridges literally bridge the gap created by one or more missing teeth.
Dental bridges are supported by natural teeth or implants. A bridge is anchored to two or more teeth on either side of the gap in the form of crowns. The anchoring teeth are called abutment teeth and a false tooth is joined in between, and can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials.
A dental bridge can:
- Restore your smile
- Restore the ability to properly chew and speak
- Maintain the shape of your face
- Distribute the forces in your bite properly by replacing missing teeth
- Prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position
There are three main types of dental bridges:
- Traditional bridges involve creating a crown for the tooth or implant on either side of the missing tooth. They are the most common type of bridge and are made of either porcelain fused to metal or ceramics.
- Cantilever bridges are used when there are adjacent teeth on only one side of the missing tooth or teeth. It must be prescribed with care as it may place too much force on the supporting teeth and damage them.
- Maryland bridges are also known as resin-bonded bridges they can be made of porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, or plastic. Wings on each side of the bridge are used to bond to the inside of the teeth. They also must be prescribed with care as they too can place too much force or hinder the ability to remove plaque around the supporting teeth.
What Is the Process for Getting a Dental Bridge?
During the first visit the supporting teeth are prepared and drilled, where they are recontoured to allow room for a crown to be placed over them. Impressions of the teeth are then made to create a model from where the dental technician can create a bridge. A temporary bridge is manufactured to protect the exposed teeth and gums while the bridge is being made in the dental laboratory.
When the bridge is complete from the dental laboratory the temporary bridge is removed and the new porcelain or metal bridge will be checked for proper fit prior to insertion with dental cement. Multiple visits may be required to check the fit of the metal framework and bite. This depends on the level of difficulty of each case.
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