A dental bridge or a “fixed partial denture” is often used to fill a gap left by one or more missing teeth, with a combination of crowns and artificial teeth. A bridge is made from a lot of different materials including gold, porcelain, alloys, or a combination of any of these or more. Bridges cannot be removed by the patient.
There are two different types of bridges. A “fixed bridge” is traditionally made of a false tooth fused between two natural teeth. The natural teeth are crowned or capped to create a stable foundation for the bridge to sit.
An “implant bridge” is made by fastening two or more implants on opposite sides and is directly fixed into the bone tissue.
A missing tooth can trigger the surrounding natural teeth to move out of position making them more prone to gum disease and tooth decay. This can in turn lead to further tooth loss or even chewing and speaking difficulties. A bridge not only helps you in achieving a confident smile but also helps in avoiding chewing or speaking difficulties in the future. A fixed bridge can help you eliminate such problems and maintain the natural shape of your face too.
Starting from creating a bridge to inserting it takes several steps depending on the patient. The dentist first creates the foundation of the bridge to attach to, and then the bridge in an aesthetically pleasing and functional way. This is probably going to take multiple visits over two to four weeks depending on the bridge and patient situation.
Maintaining proper dental hygiene is important for a lot of reasons. But if you have a dental bridge, you have to be extra careful about your oral health as a strongly relies on its foundation on which it is planted. If taken care of well, a fixed bridge can last up to eight to ten years or longer.