Dental bridges work best for those who have a gap in their smile. This prosthetic literally “bridges the gap” by placing crowns on the teeth on either side of the gap (also called abutment teeth) in order to anchor the prosthetic. An artificial tooth, made of gold, alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these three, is then placed onto the anchors.
There are three types of dental bridges:
- Traditional bridges: A traditional bridge is the most common type of bridge used. It involved created crowns for the teeth on either side of a gap, and placing a prosthetic tooth in between. Traditional bridges are usually made of ceramics or porcelain fused to metal.
- Cantilever bridges: Cantilever bridges are used when a missing tooth or teeth only has adjacent teeth on one side. It’s not a very common procedure and it is not recommended for use in the back of the mouth where it can damage other teeth.
- Maryland bonded bridges: In this procedure, teeth and gums supported by metal or porcelain framework, are bonded to your existing teeth by wings on each side of the bridge.
The process for getting a bridge placed is twofold. During your first visit, the abutment teeth are prepared for crowns by being filed down. After this, Dr. Jose Lopez will take impressions of the teeth that will serve as a model for the bridge, prosthetic tooth or teeth and crowns to be made. Lastly, a temporary bridge will be placed to protect the teeth until the permanent one is ready. During the second visit, the temporary bridge is removed and the new one is placed! After being put in your mouth, it will be checked and adjusted to achieve a proper fit. It is then cemented into place.
If you have a gap in your smile and you’d like to learn more about dental bridges, please call Family & Cosmetic Dentistry to set up your appointment!