A dental bridge is a special dental device designed to “bridge” the gap left by one or several missing teeth. Bridges use a supportive framework designed to rest on the gums and one or more artificial teeth or crowns that are shaped and tinted to look like natural teeth.
The goal of using a dental bridge is to restore the function in the area of the mouth where teeth are missing and to prevent teeth on either side of a gap from shifting. This will ensure their roots stay strong enough to prevent additional tooth loss.
Bridges also restore the appearance of the patient’s smile so they feel more confident about their appearance.
Bridges help maintain the bite balance, to avoid uneven wear and excessive strain that can occur when one or more teeth are lost.
In addition to replacing teeth lost due to decay, disease, or trauma, a dental bridge can also be used to replace adult teeth that fail to emerge.
Bridges are supported by the teeth on either side of the gap, either with clips that allow the bridge to be removed for cleaning or with dental adhesives for a more permanent attachment.
Bridge procedures usually can be completed in just 2 appointments.
At that first appointment, Dr. Chu will prepare the supporting teeth for crowns.
Crowns are necessary to prevent the supporting teeth from becoming worn and damaged by the added pressure and strain of the bridge. An impression will be made of the entire area, and the impression will be sent to the lab where the bridge and crowns will be made. Temporary crowns will be applied to the teeth to protect them.
At the second appointment, the temporary crowns will be removed and the new permanent crowns will be applied to the teeth, then the bridge will be carefully adjusted and placed on the teeth for a perfect fit.
Bridges can be cared for with regular brushing and flossing and routine dental checkups to ensure the teeth that support the bridge are healthy and strong. With proper care, a dental bridge can last a decade or more.