Bridges are generally used to replace teeth that are missing or damaged. They consist of a false tooth anchored on either side by a crown. Crowns are placed directly over existing teeth, while bridges are designed to match your natural teeth in size and color as closely as possible. Bridges are an effective way to:
- Eliminate gaps in your smile
- Improve your ability to chew and speak
- Prevent the sunken cheek look that comes from missing teeth
- Equalize pressure on your bite
- Keep remaining teeth from drifting out of position
Most dentists work with two types of bridges. Traditional Fixed Bridges are permanently installed and cannot be removed. Placing a fixed bridge requires preparing the two adjacent teeth for seating the crowns that hold the false, or pontic, tooth in place. This procedure may be used to replace one or more missing teeth.
A resin-bonded dental bridge is primarily used for repairing front teeth. This type of bridge does not require as much preparation and is less expensive than a fixed bridge.
Two appointments are usually needed for your dentist to prepare, fit and place your dental bridge. During the first appointment, your teeth will be prepared and an impression will be taken and sent off to a lab. When the bridge is ready, your dentist will make sure it fits properly and then permanently bond it with dental cement to your natural teeth, filling the space in your smile.
Your bridge will soon be as comfortable as your own teeth. Hygienists will teach you how to brush and floss in the area to ensure that your bridge will remain in good condition for many years.