A bridge is made up of two or more crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap — these two or more anchoring teeth are called abutment teeth — and a false tooth/teeth in between. These false teeth are called pontics and can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials. Dental bridges are supported by natural teeth or implants.
What Are the Benefits of Dental Bridges?
- Restore your smile
- Restore the ability to properly chew and speak
- Maintain the shape of your face
- Distribute the forces in your bite properly by replacing missing teeth
- Prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position
What Is the Process for Getting a Dental Bridge?
- During the first visit for getting a dental bridge, the abutment teeth are prepared. Preparation involves recontouring these teeth by removing a portion of enamel to allow room for a crown to be placed over them. Next, impressions of the teeth are made, which serve as a model from which the bridge, pontic, and crowns will be made by a dental lab. Your dentist will make a temporary bridge to wear to protect the exposed teeth and gums while the bridge is being made.
- During the second visit, your temporary bridge will be removed and the new porcelain or metal bridge will be checked and adjusted, as necessary, to achieve a proper fit. Multiple visits may be required to check the fit of the metal framework and bite. This is dependent on each individual’s case. If the dental bridge is a fixed bridge, your dentist may temporarily cement it in place for a couple of weeks to make sure it is fitting properly. After a couple weeks, the bridge is cemented into place.
How Long Do Dental Bridges Last?
Dental bridges can last more than 5 years and even longer. With good oral hygiene and regular checkups, it is not unusual for the life span of a fixed bridge to be over 10 years.
Dental bridge types
There are four main types of dental bridges:
- Traditional dental bridge
A traditional dental bridge consists of a false tooth or teeth being held in place by dental crowns that have been cemented onto each of the abutment teeth
- Cantilever dental bridge
Similar to a traditional bridge, but the pontic in a cantilever dental bridge is held in place by a dental crown that is cemented to only one abutment tooth.
- Maryland dental bridge
Maryland dental bridges employ two natural abutment teeth, one on each side of the gap. A Maryland bridge uses a framework of either metal or porcelain that is bonded onto the backs of the abutment teeth.
- Implant-supported dental bridge
Typically, one implant is surgically placed for every missing tooth, and these implants hold the bridge in position. It can take a number of months for the procedure to be completely finished.
What does a dental bridge cost?
There are many variables that can affect the price including: number of teeth needed to fill the gap, materials used such as composite resin, ceramic, gold, or porcelain fused to metal, metal full cast, metal alloy covered in resin, imex, sircon, complexity/difficulty of the placement, additional treatments for other dental issues, such as gum disease