If a tooth is missing, a bridge can be used to place a synthetic tooth in the gap between two teeth. A bridge typically consists of two crowns, with an artificial tooth in the middle. The two crowns are placed on the neighboring teeth, after they have been filed down, and provide the mouth with additional strength, and aesthetic benefits.
Robert J. Malone DDS offers bridges to patients who have lost a tooth, or are having a tooth removed, but don’t want to suffer the consequences of a gap in their dental arch.
Types of Bridges
The type of bridge you are having placed will alter the treatment’s procedure. The most common type of bridge is the traditional bridge, where two crowns hold between them a synthetic tooth, which are placed on top of teeth neighboring the gap. This type of bridge is very strong, as the bridge is usually cut or molded from one solid piece of material, such as porcelain or metal.
The disadvantage of a traditional bridge is the filing down of the neighboring teeth, which removes a significant amount of their enamel.
The second most common type of dental bridge is the Maryland bridge, which does not involve any crowns. This can be seen as a benefit, as it allows the neighboring teeth to preserve all their enamel and structure. Maryland bridges work by cementing wires to the back of the neighboring teeth, to hold the synthetic tooth in place.
The downside to Maryland bridges is their lack of strength, which makes them unsuitable for teeth at the back of the mouth.
The final type of dental bridge is the cantilever, which works similarly to a Maryland bridge in that it uses metal wires to hold the synthetic tooth in place. What makes it different is that it only uses one neighboring tooth, so can be used when only one tooth is available to support.
What Happens When a Bridge is Fitted?
Using local anesthesia, to numb the area in which the procedure will take place, the dentist will file down the two neighboring teeth. They will then shape into small nubs, which act as the core strength to a crown. The dentist will take measurements of these two newly shaped teeth and the gap between and send the information to a dental lab. There, they will make the dental bridge.
The dental bridge will be custom-fit, meaning it will sit snugly in the dental arch. It should be ready within 2-3 weeks. The bridge will be examined by our dentist, to ensure it will fit properly, and then placed in the mouth.
The preparation of the two neighboring teeth will take 1-2 hours, and the placing of the dental bridge will take 30-60 minutes. These times differ depending on the difficulty of the procedure.
Robert J. Malone DDS can help you decide if a dental bridge is for you. We offer a range of different restorative procedures to help you get your perfect smile back. To hear what different treatments we have to offer, call us at (760) 546-5557 today!