A dental bridge is a commonly used prosthesis to restore a missing tooth or hide an unsightly space. Aside from being cosmetic, it also restores function by adding an extra tooth into the arch for the patient to bite on. A bridge requires the 2 teeth adjacent to the empty space to be filed down to make room for a crown. Connecting the two crowns will be a third crown that replaces the empty space. Thus, to have a bridge you must have 2 healthy teeth to support it. The resultant gap under the bridge is also a place that patients must maintain good oral hygiene thereafter.
Much like a crown, a dental bridge can be categorized according to the type of material used. Thus, we have metallic and non-metallic types. Usually, we tend to use non-metallic crowns because they have better aesthetics, they are more translucent and have better biocompatibility. This means patients will not experience any metal reactions.
Dental bridge treatments happen over 2 visits. During the first visit, a mold is taken of the teeth and local anesthetic administered so that you are comfortable. The preparation depends largely on the requirement of each material intended for the bridge. A 3D digital scan is then taken of the prepared teeth and a temporary bridge is fabricated and placed over the prepared teeth. The temporary bridge prevents food from irritating the surrounding gum. It also helps stop the drift of adjacent teeth and helps prevent damage to the teeth between visits. Following that, during your next visit, the temporary bridge is removed and the tooth cleansed with the bridge cemented on top.