Bridging The Gap: All About Dental Bridges

May 22, 2015

Do you have missing teeth that impair chewing and speaking? Missing teeth not only create unseemly gaps in your smile, but they can cause strain on the surrounding teeth and make your bite uneven. If you want to “bridge the gap” in your mouth, then you might want to consult your dentist about receiving dental bridges.

What Are Bridges?

Bridges, also known as fixed partial dentures, are artificial teeth. They can be made from gold, alloy, porcelain, or all of these materials combined. The artificial tooth (pontic) is fixed to the crowns of the surrounding teeth (abutment teeth) which are then cemented in position.

Types Of Bridges

Bridges are typically fixed, meaning they cannot be removed except by a dentist. There are multiple types of bridges, including:

  • Traditional Fixed Bridges: These are the bridges that are attached to the surrounding teeth.
  • Removable Bridges: Like its name suggests, you can remove this type of bridge yourself.
  • Cantilever Bridges: This type is specifically used if one side of the missing tooth does not have teeth available for attachment.
  • Implant Bridges: These are attached either under the gum tissue or directly to the jaw.
  • Maryland Bonded Bridges: Also known as resin-bonded bridges, these are typically used to replace the front teeth. This has porcelain fused to a metal tooth supported by a framework that includes wings bonded to the surrounding teeth.

How Bridges Are Attached

To attach a fixed traditional bridge, you dentist must first prepare the surrounding teeth to receive crowns. After this process is completed, the bridge and crowns are made, checked, and adjusted until the fit is right, which can take some time. When the fit is deemed correct, your dentist will cement the crowns holding the bridge in place.