Dental bridge is a bridge used to connect the gap between one or more missing teeth. It’s a common type of treatment, when teeth are lost. The classical bridge consists of two parts: artificial tooth or teeth (pontics) and two dental crowns (abutments).
The bridge has an aesthetic and practical applying. The new teeth will makes the appearance better and allow the patient to eat and speak as with natural teeth.
If a patient lost a tooth or teeth, he or she can choose several methods of treatment: dental bridge, implants and a partial denture. Anyone who is missing one to three consecutive teeth may choose a dental bridge treatment. The surrounding teeth from the both sides will serve as a support for the bridge (traditional bridge). The both teeth must be clear from decay and the gum disease must be treated to avoid any complications.
If the space between two teeth is more than three missing teeth, a partial denture (removable bridge) may be used. There is also another option, which is very common. The bridge can be attached to the dental implants. The jawbone of this patient must be healthy enough to keep the both implants and bridge.
The bridge contains one, two or three pontics depends on the amount of missing teeth. The cost is also varies depends on the quality of pontics, material from which the bridge is made and the complexity of the placement. The bridge is less expensive than implant.
The bridges can be made from a variety of materials:
- Metal bridges (gold, silver, and metal alloys) are the most durable type of restoration. They also require less alteration of a patient’s natural tooth structure. Many patients don’t like the metal bridges because of their appearance. However, the dentist may offer the metal restorations on the molars.
- Porcelain-fused-to-metal restorations (PEM) are the mix of porcelain and metal, which imparts strength and stability. The surface of the bridge is covered with porcelain, but this layer may start to erode in a couple of years. Therefore, the appearance will worsens.
- All-porcelain bridges are not strong enough, but they look like natural teeth. This is a good option for the frontal, visible teeth.
- Zirconia is an advanced type of dental ceramic. These bridges are as strong as metal. They also require less alteration of a patient’s natural tooth structure. The dentist can select a color that is near-perfect match to a patient’s smile.
If the patient chooses traditional bridges, the surrounding teeth will be sufficiently modified. The dentist takes impressions of the supporting teeth and measures the sizes of the future pontics. The results are sent to the laboratory. The crowns for these teeth as well as the artificial tooth will be prepared. The dentist will offer temporary bridges for that period.
Once the bridge is finished, a patient is invited to the dentist’s office. The dentist removes the temporary bridge and anchors the bridge using dental cement. The pontic is secured to the gum in order to prevent bacterial infection.
The dental bridges is an excellent and safe treatment option for patients who has missing teeth. Patients should keep an oral hygiene to avoid any issues related to the bridges.