What are dental bridges?
A bridge is a custom fixed (non-removable) structure that when attached to neighboring teeth, are used to replace one or more missing teeth. A bridge is usually porcelain fused to metal and helps to prevent shifting and over eruption of teeth. If a missing tooth is not replaced, more teeth could be sacrificed as tooth loss, shifting, over eruption, and periodontal disease can occur.
A bridge treatment is necessary if a loss of a tooth (or teeth) causes problems with neighboring teeth. These teeth may begin to shift as support for chewing has changed. Shifting teeth can cause weakening of bone structure and consequently further accelerate periodontal disease, if present. Without the use of a bridge, it is possible that additional teeth may be lost due to uneven pressure on the remaining teeth.
What are the benefits of a bridge?
They help to restore and maintain your natural smile, prevent unnatural stress on remaining teeth, help prevent shifting of teeth and discourage further tooth decay and periodontal disease. Bridges are made by taking impressions of your teeth so that a custom bridge can be made in the laboratory. Careful analysis is done to ensure that the bridge both fits comfortably and matches the correct shade of your teeth. Often, a temporary bridge is placed while the permanent, finished bridge is being prepared in the lab. It is important to remember that once the bridge is placed, effort must be made to avoid hard foods that may damage it.