A bridge is basically a false tooth replacement. In dental-speak, we call it a fixed restoration that replaces a missing tooth. It gets inserted where the missing tooth is supposed to be and is anchored by the teeth on either side of it - hence the name bridge.
- The bridge is custom made to fill in the space with a false tooth.
- The false tooth is then attached by the bridge to the two other teeth on each side of the space.
- Next, the teeth are prepared to make room for the new false tooth to accommodate the thickness of the crown's size.
- The dentist then makes an impression, which serves as the model from which your bridge, false tooth and crowns then get created by the technician.
- A temporary bridge is placed in the area to protect teeth and gums while the permanent bridge is being made.
A bridge is right for you if:
- You want the easiest, most predictable way to fill in a missing tooth's space. When you have a missing tooth, out of the three options (single implant, removable appliance or fixed bridge), the fixed bridge is still the most viable treatment option, especially when an implant is questionable. However, if you choose a bridge in this case, it will be necessary to crown both teeth on each side of the missing tooth. This trio is called a three-unit bridge.
Advantages of a bridge:
- A bridge can last for years if done correctly.
Disadvantages of a bridge:
- Since crowns must be placed on either side of the teeth, it can be a somewhat involved process.
- It can last for 20+ years, depending on how well it's made and the patient's home care.