A dental bridge is a restorative dental solution to replacing one, or several, missing teeth. Sometimes called a fixed partial denture, a bridge is supported by implants or natural teeth. A traditional bridge appliance includes two crowns – one on each side of the missing tooth – and a false tooth that fills the gap. If the surrounding teeth are healthy, they likely will not need much work prior to placing the crown, However, a small amount of the enamel will need to be removed in order for the crowns to fit comfortably and naturally.
There are several other types of bridges. A cantilever bridge is similar to the traditional bridge but only uses a crown on one side of the gap from a missing tooth. A Maryland bonded bridge is created from a metal framework with wings that are attached to back of the existing teeth and a false tooth that fills the gap created by the missing tooth. Because these bridges require less preparation of the surrounding teeth, bonded bridges are usually less expensive. However, the material is usually not as durable. Therefore, these types of bridges are only recommended for teeth that don’t receive a lot of biting force.
A dental bridge procedure requires several visits to the office. During the first visit your dentist will discuss your tooth replacement options and the available solutions. If the patient and dentist agree to move forward with a dental bridge, the teeth must be prepared and covered with temporary crowns while the bridge is created. Additionally, impressions and x-rays may be needed to ensure a natural fit.
In most cases bridges will last for five to seven years. The length of time a bridge lasts is due to the support from surrounding teeth. If cavities developing on those teeth near the crowns, it causes the appliance to weaken and eventually break.
Drs. Lan Vo and Sean Breckley of 32 Dental Practice in Kennesaw, GA, have been helping patients restore their smiles for many years. Bridges are one of several options available in their full-service dental practice. For more information about bridges, or other services, call the 32 Dental practice today.