A dental bridge is a false tooth, known as a pontic, which is connected to crowns to fill in the area left by a missing tooth or teeth. The crowns holding it in place are attached to the teeth on each side of the false tooth. This is known as a fixed bridge. This procedure is used to replace one or more missing teeth. Fixed bridges cannot be taken out of your mouth as you might do with removable partial dentures.
Types of Dental Bridges
- A Traditional bridge is constructed with porcelain fused to metal or ceramics. It consists of two crowns cemented to the teeth on either side of the missing tooth with the pontic in between.
- Cantilever bridges only affect one of the adjacent teeth next to a missing tooth. These are used generally in an area where there is less stress; for instance, in the front of your mouth.
- Resin bonded bridges (also known as Maryland bridges) are used when gums are healthy and the surrounding teeth are strong and free of extensive restorations. The preparation involves less damage to the adjacent teeth. Unfortunately, the overall strength of this bridge is only as strong as the material used to bond the bridge to the surrounding teeth
Benefits of a Dental Bridge
- Create a more aesthetically pleasing smile
- Allow for proper chewing and eating
- Create an even and more secure biting surface (occlusion)
- Prevent remaining teeth from shifting to fill in the empty space