A great way to replace missing teeth.
- A missing tooth or teeth
- Potential bite and jaw joint problems from teeth shifting to fill the space
- The “sunken face” look associated with missing teeth
- Desire to improve chewing ability
- Desire for a non-removable replacement
A bridge is a fixed appliance that is generally attached the teeth on either side of the space where a tooth is missing. An artificial tooth attached in the middle of the bridge fills in the gap where the missing tooth was. Dr. Pooley will prepare the teeth on either side of the gap for crowns (see crowns) and take a highly accurate impression of the prepared area. This impression is sent to a dental laboratory and used to create a porcelain (tooth colored) bridge. The bridge is then returned to our office and cemented onto the prepared surface of the teeth, effectively creating the appearance of a “new” tooth.
In some instances, a resin-bonded bridge may be used. In this case, the teeth on either side of the gap are not prepared for crowns. Instead, the bridge consists of a false tooth with metal brackets on the back extending to either side. The brackets are attached to the back of the natural tooth on each side.
Unlike dentures, a bridge is never removed. It is fixed in the mouth and works very similar to natural teeth. By filling the gap and stopping the movement of other teeth, a fixed bridge is an excellent investment, providing better chewing ability, heading off jaw joint problems and saving money that might otherwise be spent on future dental treatment.
Fixed bridges are excellent restorations and have few disadvantages. They are highly durable, but they will eventually need to be re-cemented or replaced due to normal wear.
In the event that a fixed bridge is not practical, the alternatives are a dental implant or a partial denture.