In modern dentistry, tooth replacement by dental implants is
becoming more and more practical, so bridges are less common than
they used to be. The replacement of missing teeth is necessary
in order to maintain the proper mouth functions. Tooth loss can
affect the way you eat, speak, and the alignment of other teeth
in your mouth.
Types of Bridges
A bridge, by definition, is a link or connection between two permanent
structures. A dental bridge is very similar in that it attaches
the restorative teeth (bridge) to the natural teeth on either
side of the gap. This bridge acts as your new teeth, closing the
gap and restoring your smile. Bridges are often constructed of
gold or metal foundations with porcelain fused to the foundation.
This ensures that the bridge will support the normal functions
of the mouth.
There are three main types of bridges:
Traditional bridges involve creating a crown for the tooth
or implant on either side of the missing tooth, with a pontic
in between. Traditional bridges 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.
Maryland bonded bridges (also called a resin-bonded bridge
or a Maryland bridge) are made of porcelain teeth and gums supported
by a metal framework. Metal wings on each side of the bridge are
bonded to your existing teeth.
The procedure begins with preparation of the natural teeth, or
abutments. We will shape the abutment teeth so that the ends of
the bridge will fit comfortably on each one. The next step is
to take an impression of the area. This impression will be sent
to our lab where your new restoration will be crafted. While this
new tooth is created, we will provide you with a temporary restoration.
Our temporary restorations will resemble your natural teeth so
that you can continue with your daily life without worrying about
a missing or unattractive tooth.
During your second visit to the office, we will proceed with
the placement of your final restoration. This bridge will be fitted
comfortably into the mouth. We will make every effort to ensure
that the new bridge feels exactly like your natural teeth. The
final step in the process is to cement the bridge into your mouth,
leaving you with a beautifully restored smile.