All of your teeth play an important role in speaking, chewing and in maintaining proper alignment of other teeth. Tooth loss doesn’t necessarily have to occur as you age, but if you do lose teeth they must be replaced to maintain proper function of your mouth. Fortunately, there are options for correcting tooth loss.
Dental Bridge Options
A dental bridge — a device used to replace missing teeth — attaches artificial teeth to adjacent natural teeth. Bridges are either permanently attached (fixed bridges), or they can be removable.
Fixed bridges are applied by either placing crowns on the abutment teeth or by bonding the artificial teeth directly to the natural teeth. Removable bridges (also called Removable Partial Dentures) are attached to the teeth with tooth-colored or gum-colored clasps to blend in with your smile.
What exactly is a dental bridge or fixed partial denture?
A bridge (fixed partial denture) is a device which fills the gap where teeth are absent. Fixed bridges are bonded into place and can only be removed by a dental professional. Removable bridges, as the name implies, can be taken out and cleaned. Fixed bridges offer more stability than their removable counterparts.
How is a dental bridge attached?
The attachment procedure usually takes two or three appointments to complete. At the first appointment we will prepare the teeth on either side of the gap by removing a portion of the enamel and dentin.
Since the bridge must be fabricated very precisely to ensure correct bite and to match the opposing tooth, impressions of the teeth are taken and sent to a lab where the bridge will be constructed.
Fixed bridges are typically cemented to the natural teeth next to the space left by the missing tooth. A pontic (false tooth) replaces the lost tooth. Dental crowns, which are cemented onto the natural teeth, provide support for the bridge.
What materials are used for dental bridges?
Bridges can be constructed from zirconia (a white metal-type material), porcelain, gold alloys, non-precious alloys, or a combination of these materials. Porcelain is often bonded to either zirconia, precious, or non-precious metal.