Dental bridges are used to “bridge” the gap between one or more missing teeth. For patients with missing teeth, they can help improve their smile and ability to properly chew and speak, maintain the shape of their face, and keep their remaining teeth in position.
A dental bridge connects two crowns (a “cap” your dentist can put on a tooth) on the teeth, with one crown tooth on either side of the gap and a false tooth or teeth in between. The two or more anchoring teeth are called abutment teeth and may be natural teeth or dental implants. The false teeth in the middle are called pontics and can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain or a combination of these materials.
Types of Dental BridgesTraditional bridges are the most common type of bridge. These involve creating a crown for the tooth or implant on either side of the missing tooth, with a pontic (false tooth) in between. Traditional bridges and are made of either porcelain fused to metal or ceramics.
Cantilever bridges are less common and used when there are adjacent teeth on only one side of the missing tooth or teeth. They are not recommended in the back of the mouth because they can put too much force on other teeth and damage them.
Maryland bonded bridges (also called a resin-bonded bridge or a Maryland bridge) are made of porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, or plastic teeth and gums supported by a metal or porcelain framework. Metal or porcelain wings on each side of the bridge are bonded to your existing teeth.
What To Expect When Getting Dental Bridges
Here’s what you can expect when getting dental bridges:
- During the first visit in preparation for getting a dental bridge, the dentist will prepare the abutment teeth, which involves removing a portion of enamel to allow room for a crown to be placed over them.
- Your dentist will also take impressions of your teeth during the first visit. This will serve as a model for the bridge, pontic, and crowns to be made by a dental lab. Your dentist will give you a temporary bridge to wear to protect the exposed teeth and gums while the bridge is being made.
- During the second visit, your temporary bridge will be removed and the new porcelain or metal bridge will be checked and adjusted to ensure a proper fit.
- Depending on the individual case, multiple visits may be required to check the fit of the metal framework and bite. If the dental bridge is a fixed bridge, your dentist may temporarily cement it in place for a couple of weeks to make sure it is fitting properly. After a couple weeks, the bridge is cemented into place.
- With good oral hygiene and regular checkups, bridges can last patients over 10 years.
Our experienced dentists at Brite Family Dental can work with you to determine the best option for replacing your missing teeth and figure out whether you may be a good candidate for dental bridges. Call our offices at 585-486-4664 to schedule an appointment for a consultation.