What Is a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge is a tooth replacement that is supported by your natural teeth. It’s called a bridge because it is usually made up of dental crowns that go over the teeth on either side of the missing tooth. These attach to a replacement tooth so the entire unit can bridge over the gap.
Dental bridges are fixed in place, letting you bite and chew normally. You don’t have to remove them for cleaning, either. However, they can only be used where neighboring teeth are strong and healthy enough to support the bridge.
If a dental bridge isn’t right for your smile, we will likely recommend a dental implant.
Who Is a Candidate for a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge is a tooth replacement, so you’re only a candidate if you have a missing tooth. Normally, we only use a bridge if there’s just one missing tooth in a spot, too. In addition, you need to have:
- Healthy teeth on either side of the gap
- Bite that doesn’t put too much force on the spot
You need healthy teeth on either side of the gap to support the replacement tooth. However, it’s okay if these teeth are mildly damaged. They just need to be healthy inside. They are going to be crowned, so if they are damaged, you get the benefit of improving their appearance as well.
More importantly, we need to make sure your bite doesn’t put too much force on the spot of the dental bridge. In the bridge, two teeth will be doing the work of three. Normally, this isn’t a problem, but if the bite is too strong there, it can put your supporting teeth at risk.
Dental Bridges Procedure
First, restorative dentist Dr. Matthew Wolfe will listen to your goals for your smile. Then he will evaluate the site to determine if it’s a good place to use a dental bridge. If it is, then he will set up an appointment to prepare for the bridge.
At the next appointment, Dr. Wolfe will make space for dental crowns on the supporting teeth. Once he has prepared the supporting teeth, Dr. Wolfe will take an impression of your teeth. This digital, touchless impression is sent to a l