There are several types of bridges and your dentist will be sure to share with you all of the available options for your situation. Porcelain fixed bridges, also known as “traditional” bridges, are the most popular. The “traditional” bridge is a non-removable appliance made of porcelain fused to metal that is used for replacing missing teeth. As with other porcelain-based dental treatments, they are specially crafted to match the coloration of your own natural teeth, allowing them to blend in seamlessly. The bridge consists of two crowns cemented over two anchoring teeth known as abutment teeth. These are then attached to artificial teeth, known as pontics, that fill the gap created by one or more missing teeth.
What can this procedure repair?
- Gaps left by missing teeth
- Damaged facial shape
- The drifting placement of remaining teeth
- Improper chewing
- Speech problems caused by improper dental structure
- The need for removable partial dentures
- The general beauty of your smile
How is the procedure done?
Setting a bridge in place requires two or more dental visits, depending on the specific circumstances of each patient. The dentist will numb the teeth and prepare the two anchoring teeth to receive the crowns that will lock the bridge in place. Once the teeth are prepared, a mold will be taken for the dental laboratory that will fabricate the permanent bridge. The dentist will then cement a temporary bridge in place to be worn for several weeks until your next appointment.
On the second visit, the dentist will carefully check, adjust, and cement the permanent bridge in place. In some cases, the dentist may need to set the permanent bridge with a temporary cementing process to allow your teeth and gum tissue time to adjust. Once this process is complete, the dentist will permanently cement the new bridge in place.
What kind of follow up care should I expect?
Permanent dental bridges require very little special attention to last for a very long time. At the conclusion of the treatment, the dentist will give you specific care instructions, and the continued practice of brushing, flossing, and regular dental cleanings will help to ensure the proper functioning of your permanent bridge. Keep in mind that dental bridges are very durable, but may eventually need replacement or re-cementing due to normal wear.