Bridges: A Bridge is the name given to a unit comprising of 2 or
more crowns. The name Bridge is self-explanatory .... as a bridge
joins 2 land-masses separated by a river, the dental Bridge also
extends from 1 tooth on one side, over a missing tooth area to the
other tooth on other side. Thus, it replaces the missing tooth while
taking support from teeth on either side. During Bridge fabrication,
both the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth are slightly reduced
in size to make space for the bridge, the impression of the teeth
is made and then the bridge is fabricated using the model (made
from the impression) and then cemented in place.
A dental bridge is a mode of tooth replacement that
anchors a false tooth between two surrounding teeth. Bridges replace
missing teeth and offer not only support for the surrounding teeth
but prevent them from moving or shifting in the mouth. It helps
retain the integrity of the jaw and face structure. This method of
tooth replacement eliminates aesthetic concerns associated with
tooth loss and restores the function of your teeth is the primary
concern. A bridge allows the dentist to replace lost teeth without
the use of a denture or dental implant. The disadvantage is that the
teeth next to the space have to be prepared in a similar way to a
crown in order to accept the bridge.
A Permanent Bridge is permanently bonded in place, unlike a partial
denture (sometimes called a removable bridge); patients cannot
remove them. There are three main kinds of bridges. In a traditional
bridge, the pontic ("false tooth") is fused between the two crowns
of the abutment teeth on either side. In a Maryland bridge, a metal
band (hidden from view) binds the pontic to the abutment teeth. A
cantilever bridge is necessary when there is an abutment tooth on
only one side of the pontic. Maryland bridges work best when the
teeth are front teeth adjoining healthy teeth that do not have large
A Permanent Bridge is usually anchored to the teeth on both sides of
the space from the missing tooth. This gives the bridge strong
support. Brushing a bridge is no different than brushing natural
teeth, but special flossing instructions are given to keep the
bridge and surrounding tissue healthy.
To design a bridge, a dentist must first shrink, then reshape the
teeth to make room for the crowns. The dentist then makes a mold of
the teeth. This mold is then sent off to a laboratory, where the
actual crowns and bridge are made.
With proper oral hygiene, bridges can last up to ten years.
However, improper or infrequent brushing and flossing, irregular
dental visits, and excessive sugar and starch intake can all bring
untimely damage to the bridge.
Types of Dental Bridges
There are three types of dental bridges:
Traditional Bridge: This type of dental bridge work consists
of two crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap, with a false
tooth in between. Traditional bridges are the most commonly used type
of dental bridge and are made of ceramic or porcelain fused to metal (PFM).
If there are no surrounding teeth to support the crowns, dental
implants can be used to fix the bridge in place.
Cantilever Bridge: This type of dental bridge is used when
there are teeth on only one side of the gap in the mouth. Two crowns
fused to the replacement tooth are used to fix the bridge to the
adjacent natural teeth.
Bonded Bridge: This type of dental bridge is made up of plastic
teeth and gums supported by a metal framework. The bonded dental
bridge is generally lower in cost than other types of bridges and is
the most simple to apply.
Q. What is a bridge or fixed bridge?
A bridge replaces a missing tooth or teeth. It is called a fixed
bridge because it is not removable. A bridge is a structure,
supported by teeth on either side of a space. It spans the gap
between teeth, just as a bridge spans a river. It spans the gap
between teeth, just as a bridge spans a river.
Q. How to care and repair dental bridges?
It is important to take proper care of your dental bridge to extend
its life and maintain the health of your gums and natural teeth. Daily
brushing and flossing, in addition to regularly scheduled dental
exams, will keep your dental bridge and oral health in top condition.
If your dental bridge is in need of repair, it is recommended that
you visit a dentist as soon as possible to fix the problem. Delaying
repairs may negatively affect your bite, cause gingival discomfort or
infection, or create other serious dental heath issues requiring