A dental bridge is one of the many treatment options used to replace missing teeth.
Dental bridges are fixed “non-removable” restorations used to replace one or multiple missing teeth in between two teeth.
How do bridges work?
Bridges use the healthy teeth surrounding the missing tooth – called abutments – to support a false replacement tooth called a pontic. A pontic is like a crown, except it has no root.
Abutments require crowns to stabilize them and make them strong enough to support the pontic. To place the dental crown, we’ll remove a layer of enamel to provide a snug fit for the crown.
Once this is done, you are ready for your new bridge.
The number of crowns you need will depend on how many teeth you are missing. One missing tooth means you will need three crowns to support your bridge – two pontics and one abutment.
What are the benefits of a dental bridge?
Dental bridges restore the health, function, and aesthetics of your smile. Replacing missing teeth can help you chew effectively, speak properly, and restore your confidence in business and social situations. Replacing missing teeth will also prevent the remaining teeth from drifting into the missing space. Drifting and shifting of teeth can affect how your teeth occlude, or bite together, and can even lead to jaw pain and problems.
Who is a candidate for dental bridges?
You may be a candidate for a dental bridge if you have one or a few consecutive missing teeth in between two adjacent teeth. They are a good option for some patients; others will benefit more from a dental implant. Dental bridges are typically used when dental implants are not a viable option.
Dr. Neff will advise whether a bridge or an implant is the best treatment option for you. Items to consider:
- How many teeth are missing
- The location of missing teeth
- The amount of support given from each abutment tooth
- The amount of bone left below the surface in the root
- The size and length of the root for each tooth
How many appointments do bridges require?
Bridgework generally requires two appointments. The first is used to capture 3D images of your mouth to send to the laboratory. We will give you a temporary bridge while your permanent one is made. At your second appointment, we will cement your permanent bridge into place using anesthesia to minimize discomfort.
Are bridges easy to get used to?
There is a short adjustment period while you adjust to the feel, but most patients report a smooth transition. And while bridges are durable and long-lasting, they will require extra attention during daily hygiene. We’ll review care instructions with you.