A bridge, also called a “fixed bridge” or a “fixed dental prosthesis,” is a dental restoration that replaces several missing teeth. It extends across an area which has no teeth and is usually made up of a synthesized tooth fused between two crowns. ( A crown is a hollow, synthesized tooth that fits over a natural tooth or dental implant ). The bridge is held resolutely in place by your own teeth on every side of the missing one ( s ) or by dental implants. A bridge is permanent and cannot be removed.
How a bridge is done
- If you have healthy teeth on every side of a missing tooth ( or teeth ), your dentist files down the two healthy teeth to prepare them for the bridge. If you don’t have healthy teeth or enough teeth to support a bridge, then dental implants might be surgically placed. A dental implant is a synthesized root made of titanium metal that’s inserted into the jawbone to replace the roots of the natural tooth. The implant acts as an anchor to hold a synthesized tooth or bridge prepared.
- Next, your dentist makes a model of your teeth by taking impressions ( molds ). The model is used to customize the synthesized tooth ( or teeth ) and two crowns as one piece. This piece is known as a bridge.
- Meanwhile, your dentist places a temporary bridge in your mouth to give protection to the exposed teeth and gums.
- During your second visit, your dentist takes away the temporary bridge and places the handmade bridge in your mouth. The crowns are either cemented to your two healthy teeth, or attached to your dental implants on every side of the missing tooth ( or teeth ).