Bridges are natural-looking dental restorations that can replace a section of missing teeth. Because they are custom-made, bridges blend into the natural dentition. They also restore the natural contour of teeth as well as the proper bite relationship between upper and lower teeth.
There are several types of fixed dental bridges (cannot be removed), including conventional fixed bridges, cantilever bridges and resin-bonded bridges.
The teeth (called abutments) on both ends of the bridge must usually be reduced in size to accommodate the crowns, to which the bridge will be anchored. The existing tooth is prepared for a crown and an impression is made. A replica of the tooth is made from the impression. A custom-designed bridge are then made to match the shade (color) of the adjacent teeth and to bite properly against the opposing teeth. Porcelain, gold alloys or combinations of materials are usually used to make bridge restorations. A temporary bridge will be made until the permanent crown is ready. Then, the final bridge is cemented in place.
Caring for your Bridge
With proper care, a good quality bridge could last up to eight to twelve years or longer. It is very important to brush and floss the crown to avoid excess plaque or collection of debris around the restoration.
Certain behaviors such as jaw clenching or bruxism (teeth grinding) significantly shorten the life of a bridge. Moreover, eating brittle foods, ice or hard candy can compromise the cementation of the bridge, or even damage the bridge.