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 lab where they will make your bridge. In the meantime, we will fit you with a temporary bridge that you will wear until your permanent bridge is ready.

When the bridge is ready, Dr. Wolfe will check it for fit and appearance. If it looks good and fits right, he will secure it.

Benefits of Dental Bridges

When used in the right situations, a dental bridge is a great tooth replacement. It:

  • Looks attractive
  • Functions naturally
  • Stays firmly in place
  • Lasts a long time

A dental bridge looks like a natural tooth. Because it restores the supporting teeth, too, it can sometimes be a better cosmetic choice than an implant or a partial denture. Since a bridge is firmly fixed一it won’t come out and you don’t need to remove it for cleaning一it lets you bite and chew normally. In addition, dental bridges are long-lasting. They usually last a decade or more.

Considering a Dental Bridge in Rochester Hills?

Are you looking to fill a gap in your smile? If so, restorative dentist Dr. Matthew Wolfe can help you decide if a dental bridge is right for you.

Please call (248) 651-0897 today for an appointment at Signature Dentistry of Rochester in Rochester Hills.