A bridge is a fixed prosthesis to replace one or more missing teeth. Cemented to neighboring teeth or an implant, this appliance is all about the name – it bridges an open space. This type of appliance is used to:

  • Restore chewing and functionality in the mouth
  • Correct for uneven distribution across biting surfaces
  • Prevent neighboring teeth from shifting out of position
  • Provide an aesthetic solution for a missing tooth or teeth
  • Maintain facial shape

The Bridge Process

This first appointment involves the preparation and recontouring of adjacent “abutment” teeth. This process is very similar to crown preparation. The dentist will spend the majority of this appointment refining the tooth to get the ideal shape and draw. Once the dentist is satisfied with the results, he or she will take an impression of the abutment teeth. This impression is then sent to our laboratory for the fabrication of your bridge. The dentist may at this appointment take a shade for the colour of your bridge. You will return home with a temporary in place.

During the second appointment, the dentist will try in your bridge to ensure fit, comfort, and aesthetics. Once you and your dentist are satisfied with the results, the bridge will be permanently cemented in place.

Most patients find that the bridge feels and functions like a real tooth. There are special considerations for how the bridge is cleaned at home, and your dentist and hygienist at Sunridge Dental Clinic will explain and demonstrate how best to keep your bridge clean, healthy, and functional for years to come.

Common Types of Bridges

Traditional Bridge

Traditional bridges can be used in cases where healthy, natural teeth are present on both sides of a space in the mouth. The space is filled by anchoring an artificial tooth to the existing ones. The artificial restoration is called a pontic, and the anchors are called abutments. Traditional bridges are the most common type of restoration and require abutment teeth to be modified and crowned to support the prosthesis. This bridge can be made with either porcelain fused to metal, ceramic, or gold materials.

Cantilever Bridge

Cantilever means fixed at one end, so this style of bridge is used when a missing tooth has anchoring teeth present on only one side. Like other bridges, an artificial pontic is cemented to an adjacent abutment crown or crowns. Not as strong as a bridge with two anchors, a Cantilever is usually not recommended for molar teeth, although there are exceptions. This is because molars bear a great deal of mechanical pressure as biting surfaces and a bridge in this region of the mouth is unlikely to support biting force without eventually succumbing to damage or breakage. Your dentist will help you understand whether or not a Cantilever bridge is right for your needs.

Maryland Bridge

Maryland bridges consist of wings that are cemented to existing natural teeth. In the case of a Maryland bridge, modifications may or may not be needed for anchoring structures. For example, no crowns are cemented to neighboring teeth, and adjustments are usually minimal, making this style a popular choice for the front of the mouth.

For any questions concerning bridges near you, please feel free to contact Sunridge Dental Clinic.

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