s What are Dental Bridges?
Bridges are used when there are one or more missing teeth and there are healthy adjacent teeth to support the bridge. With a bridge the supporting teeth are reduced, as with a crown, and the support teeth have a crown placed over them with a fake tooth attached to both supporting crowns to replace the missing tooth or teeth. Some people often confuse a bridge with a removable partial denture but, while both replace missing teeth, a partial comes out of your mouth while a bridge does not.
When are Bridges Used?
Bridges are often used when the supporting teeth are broken or decayed and require restoration. In situations such as these a bridge not only replaces the missing tooth but also fixes the adjacent broken supporting teeth.
In most cases we prefer to use a dental implant to replace teeth but with certain patients there may not be enough bone to support a dental implant. There are some advantages to having a bridge over a dental implant. One of those advantages is that bridges can be done very quickly. Bridges normally about ninety minutes to prepare the teeth and then a temporary bridge is placed. About two weeks later the temporary bridge is removed and the permanent bridge is cemented in place. Another advantage of a bridge is that it also fixes the supporting teeth if they are in need of repair.
The technology for making bridges has improved dramatically over the last ten years. Bridges used to be made out of gold. This, of course, was not very cosmetically pleasing. Then bridges were made out of metal with porcelain laid over the top. These looked better than gold but still had an unnatural look to them. Now, we can make bridges out of all porcelain materials. These bridges are often so natural-looking that most people cannot distinguish them from real teeth.