A bridge is one of the options that you have when deciding how to replace a missing tooth or teeth. The replacement of these missing teeth is necessary in order to maintain proper mouth functions. Tooth loss can affect the way you eat, speak, and the alignment of other teeth in your mouth.
Types of Bridges
A bridge, by definition, is a link or connection between two permanent structures. A dental bridge is very similar in that it attaches the natural teeth on either side of the gap to a prosthetic tooth in the middle. This bridge acts as your new teeth, closing the gap and restoring your smile. Bridges are often constructed of a gold or metal framework with porcelain on top of the framework.
There are three main types of bridges:
- Traditional bridges involve creating a crown for the tooth on either side of the missing tooth, with a pontic (fake tooth) in between. Traditional bridges are the most common type of bridge and are made of either porcelain fused to metal or porcelain.
- Cantilever bridges are used when there are adjacent teeth on only one side of the missing tooth or teeth. This type of bridge can only be done on a front tooth.
- Maryland bonded bridges (also called a resin-bonded bridge or a Maryland bridge) are made of porcelain teeth supported by a metal framework. Metal wings on each side of the bridge are bonded to your existing teeth. This type of bridge can only be done on a front tooth.
The procedure begins with preparation of the natural teeth, or abutments. We will shape the abutment teeth to support the bridge. The next step is to take an impression of the teeth. This impression will be sent to our lab where your new restoration will be crafted. While this is created, we will provide you with a temporary restoration. The temporary restorations will resemble your natural teeth so that you can continue with your daily life without worrying about a missing or uncomfortable tooth.
During your second visit to the office, we will proceed with the placement of your final restoration. The bridge will be fitted comfortably into the mouth. We will make every effort to ensure that the new bridge feels exactly like your natural teeth. The final step in the process is to cement the bridge into your mouth, leaving you with a beautifully restored smile.
Post-Treatment Care Instructions
For post-treatment care instructions following bridge work, click the link below (instructions are in Adobe PDF file format; if you need the Adobe Reader software to view these files, visit the Adobe website by clicking here):
Bridges Before and After
If you would like to see before and after photos of bridge procedures by Dr. Stefanie Shore, visit our Smile Gallery.