Dental bridges are one method of replacing missing teeth. With a bridge, a false tooth or teeth (called "pontics") are attached to neighboring teeth (called "abutments") using crowns which are connected. This is a wonderful method of replacing missing teeth, especially when the neighboring teeth used to anchor the bridge are already in need of extra protection or the bone in an area makes placing implants a challenge. Bridges can be a beautiful, esthetic way of replacing missing teeth.
The first step in placing a bridge is to prepare the abutment teeth for crowns . The abutment teeth must be recontoured and reduced in size in order to make room for a crown to fit over them. After preparation, an impression is taken of the prepared teeth which is used to make a model of your mouth. A dental lab uses the model to make a custom-made, precision-fit bridge for you. Depending on the particular situation, bridges can be made of metal covered in porcelain or made entirely of high-strength ceramics.
A temporary bridge will be fitted for you to function on while the laboratory fabricates your permanent bridge. This will protect your abutment teeth and prevent any tooth movement while your bridge is made (it can happen faster than you would think!).
A couple weeks after the preparation appointment, you will return to have the permanent bridge cemented in place. Having a new bridge in your mouth may take a few days to get used to, especially if the teeth have been missing for some time. After a period of adjustment, the bridge should feel and function just like natural teeth.
Replacing missing teeth is important to maintain a healthy smile, preserve good chewing function, and preventing other teeth from tilting and moving into open spaces. Please ask us for more information if you are interested in replacing teeth.