A fixed dental bridge is a permanent (non-removable) prosthodontic dental appliance used to replace missing teeth in your mouth. Dental bridges fill in the gaps left by missing teeth by using the teeth next to the space as anchors. With the same material options as crowns, bridges are a great option for replacing missing teeth. Bridges generally take 2-3 visits for completion and follow many of the same steps involved in doing a dental crown.
Your first dental bridge appointment will involve preparation of the teeth holding the bridge in place (abutments). The teeth anchoring the bridge in place will be getting crowns to which the pontic (tooth replacement) will be held. An impression is then taken for the dental laboratory so that they may make a bridge to custom fit your mouth. We will then make you a temporary bridge which will remain in your mouth for about 2 weeks while the dental laboratory makes a bridge custom fit to your mouth.
Your second appointment will be for removal of your temporary bridge and the try in of your permanent bridge. Once the temporary is removed, we will evaluate your new bridge and check for proper fit, function and esthetics. Once we are sure your bridge fits perfectly and you are happy with the way it feels and looks it will be permanently cemented in to your mouth.
Bridges, like crowns and fillings, require proper maintenance and home care. Regular cleanings, brushing and flossing underneath the pontic are important steps to help prevent cavities on the abutment teeth. It is possible to get a cavity around a bridge and bridges do need to be replaced over time due to decay and wear and tear of the materials making up the bridge. Maintenance of your bridge at home can help to increase the longevity of your bridge so that it can work in your mouth for years to come.