A dental bridge, or fixed dental bridge, is a popular way to replace missing teeth. Existing teeth on each side of a space, are used to create a bridge to cross the area where your tooth is missing. (Simply explained, it is like a bridge on a road where you have land on both sides and a bridge attached to that land). A fixed bridge may be fabricated from gold, metal, alloys, or porcelain.
The process of creating a bridge begins by creating "abutments" (or supports) of your existing teeth on each side of a space. The bridge will be attached to these abutments. Once the abutments have been created, an impression is taken of the area and that impression is sent to a dental lab. The lab uses this "mold" to fabricate a bridge unit that will fit properly and feel as close to your natural teeth as possible. The bridge consists of crowns on each side of the space with a "pontic" or "false" tooth attached to them. That pontic fills the space of the missing tooth.
We will fit you with a temporary bridge while we wait for the lab to fabricate your permanent bridge. This temporary will protect the abutments and the exposed gum areas and look more appealing than having a missing tooth. When the permanent bridge has been created, you will have a follow up visit to seat the bridge. It will be placed on the abutments and the dentist will then use an adhesive to make sure that the bridge is set.
The bridge may take a little while to get used to, but after a few days it should feel like you have your own teeth again. You should eat soft foods for the first few days after having your bridge placed.
A missing a tooth should always be replaced. A missing a tooth is not simply an aesthetic disadvantage, it can cause structural changes to your mouth and jaw, as well as making it difficult to eat or speak properly.