A bridge is used to replace a missing tooth or missing teeth. It connects the adjacent teeth on either side of the missing tooth, and has a false tooth or teeth, called a ‘pontic’, depending on the span in between.
A Bridge much like a Crown is completed over 2 appointments (the prep and the insert) about 2 weeks apart.
The first appointment is called the ‘Bridge Prep’, where the teeth on either side of the missing tooth or space are prepared, much like a crown. Tooth structure is reduced from the circumference of the tooth, allowing room for the bridge to fit. After the teeth are carefully prepared an impression is taken of the area. With that impression, the dental lab is able to make a custom bridge to fit the teeth and fill in the space from your missing tooth. Before you leave our office, one of our amazing CDAs will fabricate a temporary just for you. It will not fill in the space at this time, but the teeth that have been prepared will be protected with a temporary.
At the second appointment (the Bridge Insert), the temporaries are removed and your natural teeth are cleaned. Then the bridge is tried on for fit, bite, and shade. If the dentist and patient are happy with the fit and the colour of the bridge, we will permanently cement the bridge in.
In some cases, when a bridge is needed towards the front of your mouth, or of a larger span, sometimes they are only temporarily cemented to allow the patient a “test drive”. This allows them to see what their family may think of it, make sure that it is aesthetically what they are looking for and that overall it meets their needs. If it is not suitable, it is still only in temporarily, so we are still able to remove it and modify it as needed. For example, the shade can still be adjusted at the lab. When the doctor and patient are totally satisfied, the patient will return to our office and we will cement the new bridge with permanent cement.
Bridges are commonly made of all ceramic, or can be an all ceramic overlay with a base that has been cast in gold and/or a metal alloy.
Yes, your bridge will require a different method for flossing. Floss will need to be threaded underneath the fake tooth called the ‘pontic’ and moved along your gum line to dislodge any food debris and plaque that can build up around and under it. Brush as normal 2x a day and as always regular visits to your dental hygienist are very important to your overall oral health.