What is a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge is a prosthesis that is used to replace a missing tooth or multiple missing teeth. Typically, it is cemented into place and is not removable. The traditional dental bridge includes two dental crowns, one for each side of the gap, and an artificial tooth in between. The traditional bridgework will require the support of the adjacent healthy teeth or dental implants, or a combination of the two. The bridge is generally made from porcelain fused with metal (PFM).
What Are The Pros And Cons Of Using A Dental Bridge?
There are several advantages to using dental bridges. It remains fixed once it has been cemented, and does not have to be removed. A bridge takes about two to three weeks to make, where an implant may take several months. The best part is that the bridge can be very aesthetic because it will be made of porcelain, particularly for the anterior teeth.
But the major disadvantage of a dental bridge is that you have to use the neighboring teeth as anchors. In some cases, the anchor teeth may already have existing crowns or large restorations and must be carefully evaluated to be safely used as anchors. Dr. Guyot advises that if the anchor teeth have defects, the bridgework should be avoided. Such a patient would be a better candidate for a dental implant. Another disadvantage is that bridges can also be difficult to clean.
What Is The Basic Dental Bridge Making Procedure?
The dental bridge procedure is essentially the same as making a crown. In the case of replacing one or two missing teeth, an hour-and-a-half first visit is required to Dr. Guyot’s office. During the visit, the patient is made comfortable with anesthesia, the anchor teeth are prepared to receive the bridge, an impression is made, and a temporary bridge is made. Thereafter, the customized permanent bridge is made in the dental lab, and when the patient visits next, it is cemented permanently into place.
In a case where two or more teeth require replacement, Dr. Guyot will usually do a diagnostic wax-up, where a practice run is done in wax. This allows Dr. Guyot to plan how to design the bridge. This will also give the patient a fair idea of what the bridgework is going to look like.