Replace One or More Teeth
A bridge is a dental appliance that replaces one or more natural missing teeth, bridging the space between two teeth.
Fixed bridges are cemented to the surrounding teeth on either side of the space, or span. Unlike removable partial dentures, bridges are not removable.
FAQs About Bridges
Who Should Get a Bridge?
If you’re committed to maintaining good oral hygiene practices, but have missing teeth, a bridge may be a good option for you.
An unfilled gap can allow the surrounding teeth to move out of position. This makes your teeth and gums more prone to tooth decay and gum disease, and potentially further tooth loss.
Bridges correct your bite, which improves your chewing and speech. It also helps you look your best by keeping your facial features from collapsing and getting premature wrinkles and age lines.
What Types of Bridges Are There?
Other than traditional bridges, popular bridge options are:
- Maryland bridge: Resin bonded bridges used on the front teeth. This is an economical choice when the surrounding teeth are healthy and don’t have large fillings. The replacement tooth is fused to metal bands that are bonded to the teeth around them with resin cement and hidden from view.
- Cantilever bridge: These may be used when there are teeth on only one side of the bridge. We’ll anchor the false tooth to one over one or more natural teeth next to it.
If there are no teeth to anchor it to, we may recommend an implant instead. If the span is large, we a removable partial denture or even an implant- supported prosthesis.
What Procedures Are Involved?
For a traditional fixed bridge, we’ll take impressions of your adjacent teeth so we can make the metal framework that will hold the replacement tooth. The final bridge is fitted over your teeth at your second appointment.
The total treatment time is usually between two or four weeks, depending on the type of bridge.
How Do I Care for a Bridge?
It’s important to brush, floss, and see your dentist regularly when you have a dental bridge. If you don’t control the buildup of food debris and plaque, your teeth infected and need more treatment, which could result in losing the bridge.
You may also use floss threaders that help remove bacteria from hard to reach spaces between the bridge and adjacent teeth and gums.
If you maintain good oral hygiene, you can expect your fixed bridge to last as many as 8-10 years, or even longer.