Dental Bridges

To replace missing teeth, patients have several options available, depending on the cost, look and function they want. Bridges work best when the patient only has one or two missing teeth and simply needs a solution that can restore function and appearance. Bridges are comprised of one or several crowns, or false teeth, that span the space between natural teeth on either side (called abutment teeth) and the missing tooth or teeth.

Bridges are made with a combination of materials, but primarily porcelain and ceramic crowns. Bridges can be permanent or removable. A fixed dental bridge is permanent and comes in several varieties, such as cantilever bridges, resin-bonded bridges and conventional fixed bridges. Removable bridges can be taken out by patients and cleaned frequently at home.  The dentist will consult with patients to determine which type of bridge is best suited to their dental needs.

Dental bridges require two dental visits to ensure the right fit and proper look. At the first visit, scans or molds are made from the existing teeth. The dentist then reforms the teeth to let the bridge crown fit over the top. The dentist will put a temporary bridge in place and send the data to a lab to create the bridge. At the subsequent visit, the permanent bridge is cemented into place and adjusted as necessary. A removable bridge will not be cemented in.

To make sure that other natural teeth as well as gums stay healthy, patients must practice good oral hygiene and keeping the area around the bridge clean and sanitary. If patients experience any problems with their bridge, they should contact the dentist right away to receive help.

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