When a patient needs to fill a gap created by a missing tooth or teeth, a dental bridge is often used. Gaps between your teeth can be potentially dangerous to your oral health, as they can cause your teeth to shift, which makes painful changes to your bite. Dental bridges help to alleviate this problem by using the two surrounding teeth as anchors to hold the false tooth in place where the gap is. In order to strengthen the surrounding teeth, porcelain crowns are typically placed on top and the false tooth, known as a pontic, is fused between them.
What types of dental bridges are available?
There are three types of dental bridges that are commonly used in dentistry today.
- A traditional fixed bridge is the most common type of dental bridge. These bridges require porcelain crowns to be placed over the two surrounding teeth and used as anchors to hold the false tooth in place. The false tooth is usually made of either porcelain fused to metal or ceramics.
- A cantilever bridge is used when teeth are present on only one side of the gap. These are typically applied to areas of the mouth that do not experience an intense chewing load, such as the front teeth.
- Resin-bonded bridges are metal bands bonded to the surrounding teeth with resin and are used to hold a plastic false tooth in place. Similar to the cantilever bridge, this type of bridge is also used in areas of the mouth that experience less stress, such as the front teeth.
How it’s done
Two visits to your Oakland dentist office are required to complete a dental bridge. At the first visit, the surrounding teeth will be prepared to be fitted with a crown. This may include filing down the tooth so that the crown can fit over it properly. Then, an impression is taken of your teeth for the dental laboratory who will prepare the final bridge and crown. Lastly, your Oakland dentist will fit your teeth with a temporary bridge in order to protect the gap and teeth until your second appointment.
At your second appointment, we will remove the temporary bridge and replace it with the newly received bridge from the laboratory. Patients should be aware that multiple visits may be required in order to properly adjust and correct the dental bridges fit.