What are Dental Bridges?
These are dental prosthetic devices that are used to bridge the gap between missing teeth in a patient’s mouth. The dentist normally cements these dental bridges in the gaps between the existing teeth or dental implants. The dental bridges are usually made of materials like gold, porcelain that are metal fused or a combination of these materials. The dentist uses a dummy tooth called pontic to permanently anchor two or more adjacent teeth or abutment teeth, using a crown.
Types of Bridges
Dental bridges come in 3 major types:
The dental bridges are beneficial for the following reasons:
The dentist will conduct an examination of the gums and the adjacent teeth and make sure they are healthy and there is no decay or breakage of the teeth. In case of any decay, the dentist will try to restore them before installing the dental bridge. Once the procedure is decided upon, the dentist will administer a local anaesthetic to the patient. The abutment teeth are re-contoured as a part of the preparation process to placing the crown. The dentist will remove a part of the enamel to make room for placing the crown. The dentist will then take impressions of the existing teeth that will serve as a model for the manufacture of the bridge, pontic, and crowns. The bridge will have to be fabricated and will take some time. The dentist will use a temporary bridge to cover the exposed teeth and gums till the dentist receive the bridge and fix it, which usually is done in the next visit. Once the dentist receives the fabricated dental bridge, the temporary bridge will be removed and the new porcelain or metal bridge will be fitted and cemented into place. This restoration is made to fit perfectly to avoid any issues in the future.
Proper oral Hygiene and maintenance of the teeth and the bridge is recommended for longevity of the remaining teeth and in turn the dental bridge.
Authored By Dr Sanjay N - Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopaedics, Bangalore