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 more permanent solution than dentures
A bridge is a single appliance that is generally attached to two teeth on each 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. The teeth on either side of the missing space are prepared for crowns (see crowns) and a scan or impression of the prepared area is then taken. This scan or impression is then used to create a porcelain (tooth colored) bridge in a special laboratory. The bridge is then cemented onto the prepared surface of the teeth, effectively creating the appearance of a “new” tooth.
Unlike dentures, a fixed bridge is never removed. It is stable in the mouth and works similar to natural teeth. By filling in the missing space, stopping the movement of other teeth, and fixing any decay that may be present on the natural teeth on each side of the missing space, a patient is helping to maintain healthier bone and stability in the area. 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 the use of a fixed bridge is not feasible, the best alternative is a dental implant.