A dental bridge is a common, affordable, time-tested, and low-risk treatment for missing teeth. The dental bridge is so called because it literally bridges the gap created when teeth are lost. The typical bridge comprises one or more artificial teeth, known as pontics, which are held in place by two dental crowns, or abutments. Though the replacement teeth used in bridges can be made from a variety of materials, including silver amalgam or gold, they are commonly made from porcelain for aesthetic considerations.
To place a traditional bridge, a dentist will secure the crowns to the teeth on either side of a gap, anchoring the pontic or pontics so that they fill the space. The result is a smile that is fully restored in terms of function and appearance.
However, bridges can also be attached to dental implants, which do not rely on natural teeth for support. To affix this type of restoration, a dentist will surgically embed tiny biocompatible posts made of titanium in a patient’s jawbone, and these posts secure the entire restoration. Dental implants are the only dental restorations that mimic the entire structure of missing teeth, including the roots, making them the strongest, most stable method of securing bridges available.
No matter what type of bridge a patient receives, the restoration will have significant aesthetic and practical benefits. The new teeth will restore dental functionality and oral health. Additionally, thanks to new dental technology and aesthetic advances, today’s dental bridges are virtually indistinguishable from natural teeth.