A dental bridge is one of a number of alternatives for replacing missing teeth.
Dental bridges replace a missing tooth by means of two, or more, crowns which are ‘bridged’ by an additional tooth over the site of the missing tooth , as shown in the diagram on the right.
WHAT MAY INDICATE THE NEED FOR A DENTAL BRIDGE?
Replacement of missing teeth especially when the adjacent teeth are somewhat compromised and are indicated for crowns.
It is essential to replace missing teeth or a single missing tooth due to the numerous potential dental problems described in the oral health section ‘Why Replace Missing Teeth’ that may result in further tooth loss.
Key Benefits of dental bridges and teeth replacement
• Replacement of a missing tooth, or teeth
• Natural, or improved, appearance
• Support and protection to compromised teeth
• Restoration of normal, or improved, function
TREATMENT PROCEDURE FOR DENTAL BRIDGES
The procedure requires two appointments, similar to crowns.
At the first appointment the abutment teeth are prepared by circumferential reduction to make room for the supporting crowns. An impression (or, mould) is then taken for fabrication at a laboratory, and a plastic temporary dental bridge fitted for the interim period. Laboratory fabrication takes approximately 3 weeks.
At the subsequent visit, the temporary dental bridge is removed and the final bridge is permanently cemented into place, replacing any missing teeth.
Aesthetics Amount of tooth reduction Strength Function Gingival Healing Cost
Full gold crowns / bridges Poor Minimal Excellent Excellent Excellent $
Porcelain fused to metal (PFM) Good Moderate Excellent Excellent Fair $$
Bonded porcelain shell crown / veneer – cosmetic Excellent Minimal Very Good Excellent Excellent $$$
All Ceramic (Procera) Excellent Moderate Excellent Excellent Excellent $$$$