A dental bridge is a dental appliance used by dentists to replace missing teeth. Similar to a bridge over water, a dental bridge requires a support system on both sides of the span of missing teeth. Typically, a bridge replaces four or fewer teeth. A dental bridge is made of metal and porcelain, similar to a porcelain fused to metal crown, and is cemented into place. They can only be removed by a dentist.
Process For Making A Bridge
Dr. Albers prepares the supporting teeth on each side of the missing teeth for crowns. He then takes impressions and makes a temporary bridge. The impressions are sent to a dental lab for fabrication of the bridge. Finally, Dr. Albers checks the finished dental appliance for fit and then cements it into place.
The drawback to using dental bridges to restore missing teeth is that the supporting teeth need to be crowned in order to anchor the bridge. When three or more teeth are missing, another option is to use dental implants in place of two of the missing teeth, and then fashion a bridge for the remaining missing teeth. While a dental implant bridge might be preferable in terms of retaining existing tooth structure, it is a more expensive option.
Dental Bridges Restore Function and Appearance
Even though there are downsides to using dental bridges, they are important for several reasons. When you lose a tooth or teeth, other teeth in the mouth can migrate or change position over time. This can cause problems with a patient’s bite, or the way their teeth contact when they bite down. If teeth are not contacting correctly, it can impact the way the mouth functions.
In addition to restoring function to the mouth, bridges also improve the appearance of teeth and smiles. We find this often gives patients more confidence in their interactions with others.