When you hear the word “bridge,” you tend to immediately think of a structure that is grounded on either side of a river or other body of water, allowing you to walk or drive across. In a dental context, while there are no bodies of water involved, the principle is similar.
A dental bridge crosses the space left by a missing tooth or other dental gap and helps secure the teeth on either side. This serves a variety of purposes:
- Restoring the ability to properly chew or speak
- Restoring the appearance of a full, healthy smile
- Preventing further widening of the space
- Protecting against infection or decay
A bridge comprises two dental caps that are placed by our dentists on the teeth on either side of the gap with however many false teeth required filling in the space. These false teeth are also known as “pontics.”
Dental bridges come in three main types:
- Maryland-bonded bridge — This type of bridge is composed of resin or plastic and is supported by a metal framework that is secured on the gums. Metal flanges on either end are then secured to your existing abutment teeth.
- Cantilever bridge — This bridge is used in situations where only one abutment tooth is available for the bridge to be secured to.
- Traditional bridge — The most common type of bridge available, this involves two abutment teeth and one or more pontic teeth. It is often formed of porcelain-fused-metal for maximum strength while also supplying a natural tooth appearance.
Getting a bridge put in place is actually a simple procedure. Here in our dental office, we can complete it within two visits. First, the abutment teeth (those on either side of the gap) are prepared, and impressions are molded. Then, during the next visit, the new bridge is inspected and installed. Further checkups and maintenance may be required for specific patients.
The materials composing your bridge are reliant on several factors, such as the location where the bridge will be installed, your overall dental condition and budget. Bridges can be formed from a combination of materials such as gold, porcelain, steel, zirconia and alumina.
Want to discover if a dental bridge is the right solution for your teeth? Call Paramount Dental Center today for more information or visit our dental practice in Kirkland or Seattle, Washington. Our dentists, Dr. Colin Del Rosario, Dr. Alfadhli Abu and Dr. Kathryn Parker, would love to see you!