What is a dental bridge?
A dental bridge is a false tooth, known as a pontic, which is fused between two porcelain crowns to fill in the area left by a missing tooth. The two crowns holding it in place that are attached onto your teeth on each side of the false tooth. This is known as a fixed bridge. This procedure is used to replace one or more missing teeth. Fixed bridges cannot be taken out of your mouth as you might do with removable partial dentures.
Teeth either side of the gap are prepared and bridge is fitted over the top and cemented in place.
In areas of your mouth that are under less stress, such as your front teeth, a cantilever bridge may be used. Cantilever bridges are used when there are teeth on only one side of the open space. Bridges can reduce your risk of gum disease, help correct some bite issues and even improve your speech. Bridges require your commitment to serious oral hygiene, but will last as many as ten years or more.
Generally dental implants are a longer lasting method of replacing a missing tooth. They also preserve your other teeth and maintain the jawbone.
Bridges may be made of different materials such as non precious metals, gold and porcelain. Usually the best appearance and longest lasting results will come from a porcelain and gold combination. This has gold on the inside for great strength and fit, and has porcelain on the outside for great appearance.
Maryland Bridges or adhesive bridges were considered to be the future of tooth replacement for a time but due to the high rates of debonding they never became very popular. These are sometimes useful where there is a very small missing space where it is too narrow for dental implant. One of the other problems is the decay which can occur under the metal wings on a tooth. We rarely advise this form of tooth replacement for this reason.