After a trip to the dentist you have found out you need something called a bridge, but you have no idea what that means or if it’s going to be painful. A dental bridge can help restore the function and look of your mouth, and here is a bit more information on what a bridge is and what you can expect.
What, exactly, is a bridge?
Also known as a fixed dental prosthesis, a bridge is a dental treatment that restores one or more missing teeth. It typically crosses over an area that doesn’t have any teeth present and is made up of one artificial tooth fused to two crowns, which will sit over teeth that are still intact. The crowns are cemented to your teeth so the bridge cannot be removed once it’s put in.
How is a bridge made?
If your dentist determines the teeth on either side of the missing tooth are healthy enough for crowns, they will trim those teeth in preparation for crowns to be placed over top. From there, your dentist will take a mold of the area so the bridge will be custom fit to the shape of your teeth and also so it will fit your current bite pattern. Once the custom bridge piece is constructed, it will be cemented in place and it will function as though it is part of your natural teeth.
Are there different kinds of bridges?
Depending on the condition of your teeth, your dentist may select different kinds of bridges. A traditional bridge (an artificial tooth fused to two crowns) replaces one missing tooth. If the teeth on either side are not suitable for crowns (e.g. they are too deteriorated or they are missing as well), your dentist might elect to perform an implant bridge instead. With this, your dentist will put in implant anchors which the bridge will be attached to for support. Dental implants will be surgically attached to the jaw bone and then the custom bridge will be placed over top.