When patients are considering dental bridges, they are often dealing with missing teeth within their smile. The gap left behind from a tooth can cause problems with your dental health. It can result in the teeth shifting out of place, resulting in changes to the bite alignment. This can be painful and also require the assistance of orthodontic work in the future to resolve. Dental bridges alleviate this potential problem by using the surrounding teeth to anchor down the restoration. Bridges consist of dental crowns fused to pontics, or false teeth, to bond in place.
Types of dental bridges
There are currently three types of dental bridges used in dental practices today:
- Traditional fixed bridge – the most common type of bridge is the traditional fixed bridge. This is where crowns are placed on adjacent teeth as anchors and false teeth made of porcelain fused to metal or ceramic are fused.
- Cantilever bridge – when teeth for support are only available on one side of the gap, a cantilever bridge may be used. These are best utilized for the anterior teeth where there is not an intense chewing load.
- Resin-bonded bridge – with the use of metal bands bonded to surrounding teeth, a resin-bonded bridge can hold a plastic false tooth in place. These are also best for the anterior teeth where less forces are placed.
How it’s done
A dental bridge requires at least two visits to the dental office. During the initial visit, three steps are completed by Dr. Knight. The first is the preparation of the surrounding teeth for the crowns. This typically involves filing down of the natural tooth enamel. Impressions are made and sent to a dental laboratory for the fabrication of the bridge and crown. The dentist will place a temporary bridge while patients wait for their permanent restorations.
At the second appointment, the temporary is removed and the new bridge is cemented in place. Any adjustments are made during this time to ensure proper fit. If patients are experiencing difficulty with the fit, they may require additional appointments to fix any issues.