A bridge is a dental device that fills a space that a tooth previously occupied by attaching the adjacent teeth and providing the necessary support. Bridges safeguard the integrity of existing teeth and help maintain a healthy, vibrant smile.
A bridge may be necessary to prevent:
Shifting of the teeth that can lead to bite problems (occlusion problems) and/or jaw problems and resultant periodontal disease.
There are three main types of bridges, namely:
Fixed bridge – this is the most popular and consists of a filler tooth that is attached to two crowns, which fit over the existing teeth and hold the bridge in place.
The “Maryland”bridge is commonly used to replace missing front teeth. It consists of a filler which looks like the missing teeth and that is attached to metal bands which are bonded to the abutting teeth. The metal bands consist of a white-coloured composite resin that matches existing tooth colour.
The Cantilever bridge is often used when there are teeth on only one side of the span. A typical three-unit cantilever bridge consists of two crowned teeth positioned next to each other on the same side of the missing tooth space. The filler tooth is then connected to the two crowned teeth, which extend into the missing tooth space or end.
Bridges can be prone to trapped food so they require routine maintenance and daily cleaning. They are durable when properly cared for, so continual monitoring by your Doctor will also be necessary to ensure the longest life for your bridge.