There are two main reasons your dental professional will recommend the use of a bridge. They are:
- When one or more teeth are missing and there are healthy teeth on both sides of the gap
- As part of a dental restoration plan after the removal of damaged, decayed or broken teeth
Types of Bridges
A bridge is a partial denture custom-made to literally “bridge the gap” for one or more missing teeth. There are two types of bridges: removable and fixed. Whether removable or fixed, a bridge is anchored in place by abutments. Both removable and fixed bridges can be constructed from gold alloys, non-precious alloys, porcelain or a combination of materials. Porcelain bridges are often bonded to precious or non-precious metal.
A removable bridge is detached by its wearer for daily cleaning and at bedtime. It is prescribed when:
- Teeth adjacent to the gap are weak
- There are multiple missing teeth
- There are no posterior teeth to provide an anchor for the bridge
A fixed bridge provides greater stability than a removable bridge because it is permanently anchored to abutments by use of bonding or a crown. Only a dentist or specialist can remove it. Fixed bridges must be cleaned daily using dental floss and a specially made aid.
When Should I See a Dentist or Specialist?
Visit your Dentist if you have one or more missing teeth and experience any of the following symptoms:
- A noticeable difference in your ability to speak or chew
- A change in the shape of your face or the self-confidence of your smile
Prompt Attention Required
Missing teeth can often lead to a number of mouth ailments, which include:
- The development of an unstable bite and increased dental stress that can damage teeth and gums or cause headaches
- Increased risk for periodontal disease and tooth decay
Bridges can last anywhere from 10 to 20 years with proper care. Typically, two office visits are required to prepare, complete, and fit a permanent bridge.