Fixed Bridges – Closing the Gap Between Healthy Teeth
When you are missing a tooth, a Bridge keeps you out of troubled social waters.
Why you would need a Bridge:
- You’ve recently lost a tooth or teeth
- Your teeth are already shifting to fill in the gap, and joint problems are beginning
- Desire to improve chewing ability
- Desire for a more permanent solution than dentures
The Process of Installing a Bridge:
A bridge is a single appliance that attaches to two teeth on either side of the space left behind by a tooth that has been removed or knocked out. An artificial tooth is attached to the middle of the bridge, and fills in the gap where the missing tooth once was. The teeth on opposite sides of the gap are prepared for crowns (link to crowns), and an impression is made of the area. This impression or mold is used to create a porcelain or gold bridge in a specialized laboratory. The bridge is then cemented onto the prepared surface, and the gap has effectively disappeared.
Occasionally, a resin-bonded bridge may be used. Resin-bonded bridges do not require the preparation for crowns of the two outside teeth. Instead, the bridge features a false tooth with metal brackets on the back of each side of the gap. The brackets are attached to the backs of the real teeth on each side.
Bridges Have Their Advantages:
Bridges are never removed, unlike dentures. Bridges fall in line with your natural teeth, and are stable enough to function in the same capacity as your regular teeth. Bridges also prevent the movement of other teeth. Jaw joint problems are also avoided, allowing for better chewing ability, and saving money on future dental treatment.
Disadvantages of Bridges:
Bridges can eventually wear out, requiring replacement or maintenance due to normal wear.
Alternatives to Bridges:
A dental implant is the only other recommended option, in the event that a bridge is not a feasible solution.