Oral Health / General Dentistry / Restorative Dentistry/Bridges

Restorative Dentistry/Bridges

A bridge — a device used to replace missing teeth — attaches artificial teeth to adjacent natural teeth, called abutment teeth. Bridges are either permanently attached (fixed bridges) or they can be removable. 

Fixed bridges are applied by either placing crowns on the abutment teeth or by bonding the artificial teeth directly to the abutment teeth. Removable bridges are attached to the teeth with metal clasps or by precision attachments.

Your teeth work together for many daily functions from eating to speaking. With missing teeth, it's difficult to do these things. Missing teeth can and should be replaced. Fixed bridges are a great way to restore your dental health and appearance.

What exactly is a bridge or fixed partial denture?
A bridge (fixed partial denture) is a device that fills the gap where teeth are absent. Fixed bridges are bonded into place and can only be removed by a dental professional. Removable bridges can be taken out and cleaned. Fixed bridges offer more stability than their removable counterparts. 

Why do I need a bridge?
A bridge helps support your lips and cheeks. The loss of a back tooth may cause your mouth to sink and your face to look older. In addition to improving your appearance, dental health is the most important reason for a bridge. Teeth were designed to complement each other. Unusual stresses are placed on the gums and other oral tissues when teeth are missing. This causes a number of potentially harmful disorders. 

Increased risk of gum disease is one of the worst side effects of missing teeth and can be minimized with a bridge. Missing teeth can cause speech disorders as they are used to make many of the sounds we use to speak clearly. 

How is a bridge attached?
The attachment procedure usually takes two or three appointments to complete. At the first appointment, we will prepare the teeth on either side of the gap by removing a portion of the enamel and dentin.

Since the bridge made very precisely to ensure correct bite and to match the opposing tooth, we take impressions of the teeth and send them to a lab where your bridge is constructed. Bridges can be constructed from gold alloys, non-precious alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials. Porcelain is often bonded to either a precious or non-precious metal. 

Fixed bridges are typically cemented to the natural teeth next to the space left by the missing tooth. A pontic (false tooth) replaces the lost tooth. Crowns, which are cemented onto the natural teeth, provide support for the bridge. 

How do I take care of my bridge?
A strict regimen of brushing and flossing will keep the bridge and surrounding teeth clean. This is very important, because the bridge relies on the neighboring teeth for support.