A bridge is a prosthetic device that replaces teeth that are missing or had to be removed. The device consists of two or more crowns, prosthetic caps that fit over a patient’s natural teeth, and artificial teeth. The crowns are used to anchor the artificial teeth to fit on your gum line.
Depending on what teeth are missing will determine which of the three types, namely traditional, cantilever and Maryland bridge, that a patient may need. The most common is the traditional bridge, which is made up of two crowns on either side of an artificial tooth.
The cantilever bridge is different in that it is bonded to your natural teeth by a crown on only one side of the artificial tooth. This bridge is normally used when you lose your back teeth.
The Maryland bridge replaces missing front teeth, as the artificial teeth are attached to bands that are bonded to backs of the natural neighbouring teeth. The bands are made of a composite resin that can be matched to a patient’s existing tooth color.
A patient who has been prescribed dental bridges will have impressions made of their teeth on which the bridge will be molded. Their teeth will also be prepared to accommodate the crowns, which could entail filing down of the tooth and cleaning. A temporary device will be fitted for the interim period before the permanent solution is made. During a second visit to our dentist’s office the temporary bridge will be replaced.
Dental bridges restore a person’s smile and correct functionality of the mouth and teeth. The artificial teeth in bridges close the gaps left by missing teeth and prevents adjacent teeth from shifting into the open space, which can cause incorrect alignment and a bad bite. If gaps, caused by missing teeth, are left in the mouth they can easily become infected and result in gum disease.