A dental bridge is a series of porcelain crowns used to fill in a gap between teeth. The two outer crowns on each side are fitted over teeth adjacent to the missing tooth or teeth. These are called abutment teeth as they hold the bridge in place. The false teeth in between are called pontics.
We create bridges made from porcelain fused to precious metal or all-porcelain, or ceramic (zirconia) bridges for a very aesthetic look and good longevity. What type of material is used is dependent also on where the bridge is placed.
It usually takes two to three appointments to create and place your new bridge. In your first visit, doctor will prepare the teeth on both sides of the gap so that crowns can be placed on them. Doctor will then take very precise impressions of your teeth. This is an important step, as it ensures that your new bridge will give you the correct bite and match the opposite tooth. Your impressions will be sent to a lab that doctor uses for their beautiful ceramic artistry.
When your new bridge is back from the lab, doctor will cement it to the adjacent natural teeth, which were prepared in your first appointment. A false tooth replaces the lost tooth, and the crowns on both sides provide the support for your bridge.
Dental bridges are usually used to replace one to two missing teeth. As a bridge requires grinding down of adjacent teeth, the doctors recommend dental implants to replace single teeth. The preparation required in creating a dental bridge can weaken the natural teeth, and cause problems in the future. A dental implant is a simple replacement tooth: a titanium post acts as the root, and a porcelain crown takes the place of a natural crown. We consider that a dental implant is a healthier long-term option.
However, there are instances when the doctors will consider using a dental bridge, such as if the patient doesn’t want to undergo any type of surgery, the surrounding teeth are already compromised, or if the health of the patient contradicts extensive dental work.