To fill the gap created by a missing tooth or teeth, a false tooth called a "dental bridge" is used. Without filling in this gap, you could be causing your teeth to shift or bite down unevenly, resulting in serious pain or further dental injury. By using a dental bridge, you alleviate these possibilities by having the surrounding teeth act as anchors to hold the false tooth in place where the gap once was. Usually porcelain crowns are placed over the surrounding teeth, and the false tooth, known as a pontic, is fused between them.
Three types of commonly used dental bridges:
1. Traditional fixed bridge - This most common type of bridge involves placing porcelain crowns over the two surrounding teeth, used as anchors, to hold the false tooth in place. The false tooth is typically made of porcelain either fused to ceramic or metals.
2. Cantilever bridge – When there are teeth only present on a single side of the gap, a cantilever bridge is used. These types of bridges are usually used in places that don’t require much intense chewing, such as in the front of your mouth.
3. Resin-bonded bridge - In other sections of the mouth that see less chewing stress, a resin-bonded bridge may be used. In this bridge, little "wings" are bonded to surrounding teeth with resin in order to hold the false tooth in place.
How it's done:
At least two visits are required in order to successfully place a dental bridge.
During your first visit, steps for the preparation of the surrounding teeth’s crowns are performed. An impression or digital scan of your teeth will be taken and sent to a laboratory in order to create the permanent bridge. A temporary bridge will be put into place to offer you protection until your next visit.
At the second visit, the temporary bridge is removed and the permanent bridge received from the laboratory is fitted and adjusted. Multiple visits may be necessary to check and adjust the fit.
Have a missing tooth and a desire to fill the gap? Call Noblesville Family Dentistry at (317) 773-1302 to schedule an appointment!