Cosmetic & Restorative DentistryDental Bridges by Dr Melinda Harr
Adult teeth may be lost for a variety of reasons, such as advanced periodontal disease, trauma, or decay.
If missing teeth are not replaced, your other teeth can drift out of position. These areas are more likely to develop gum disease and induce the decay of surrounding teeth.
A bridge is a restorative structure that is used to replace missing teeth. Bridges consist of one or more false teeth that are held in place by crowns that are attached to the surrounding teeth. Bridges can be made with a gold alloy substructure or can be made metal free (all ceramic).
Bridges fall under two main categories, "fixed" and "removable." Fixed bridges are cemented in place and cannot be taken out. Removable bridges are not permanently attached and can be removed at night or for cleaning purposes. (see "Partial Dentures")
Bridges can dramatically improve the appearance of your smile by replacing missing teeth. The materials used to create the bridge are made to match the color of your natural teeth, while providing strong structural support.
The teeth next to the empty space will be reduced in order to receive the crown portion of the bridge. Then, an impression will be taken of the whole area (the missing area and the two teeth next to it).
This impression is then sent to a lab, and a bridge is custom-designed to fit the area. Just as with the placement of a crown, a temporary bridge will be put in place to protect your teeth and gum while the restoration is being constructed.
We may provide you with a "flipper" in place of a temporary bridge. A flipper is a temporary false tooth that latches onto a metal wire on the adjacent teeth.