What is a Bridge?
A dental bridge is a denture prosthetic used to “bridge a gap” where one or more teeth are missing. This prosthetic is joined to adjacent teeth through the use of crowns in order to act as an anchor. The bridge is the linkage of a number of individual crowns of which one or more becomes the dummy or pontic. Bridges can be fabricated from either metal based materials or non metal ceramics (eg. Porcelain). As with any prosthesis, fabrication will be customised depending on what is required.
More than one visit to the dentist will be required for a bridge as the teeth need preparation before the bridge is fitted. Teeth requiring preparation for crowns are called the abutment teeth situated on either side of the gap. They are basically those on either side of the gap. After preparing the teeth to accommodate the crowns, impressions are taken in order for the supporting crowns to be constructed and in the interim a provisional bridge is fitted. Checkups may be required just to ensure that the supporting framework still fits but annual checkups to your dentist will cover this. Nonetheless, a bridge fitment is a simple in-the-chair procedure to keep a white smile pearly. When one or more teeth are missing, an alternative would be to have implanted supported crowns; this will avoid the removal of tooth structure on either side of the gap.
Should I do it?
It may be presumed that a bridge is ideal for aesthetic appearance but it is in fact a necessity in terms of oral hygiene and surety of well-being. Having an exposed gap puts you at risk of potential infection which may in some cases be quite dangerous. Receiving a bridge hosts a number of benefits not only aesthetically but can assist in maintaining facial structure and restoring the function to chew and speak properly without compensating. A specific homecare maintenance regime prescribed by your dentist is important after the bridge has been fitted.