A bridge is a dental prosthetic created specifically to fill the space created by absent teeth. They are attached by dental crowns to the teeth that lie on either side of the gap in the teeth, providing the degree of permanency that is needed for proper maintenance.The goal of dental bridges is to provide structural support to the bite while maintaining the integrity of the enamel.
Types of Dental Bridges
Conventional Bridge. A bridge prosthesis uses adjacent teeth next to an area of missing teeth to hold a replacement tooth. The crown part of the bridge sits on top of prepared abutment teeth while supporting a fake tooth (pontic) to replace the missing tooth or teeth. Bridges are permanently attached to the abutment teeth.
Maryland Bridge. Maryland bridges are attached to adjacent teeth by use of wings that are connected to the fake tooth (pontic). These bridges can be made of either porcelain fused to metal or zirconia. There are advantages to each type of Maryland bridge based on the a patient’s unique situation. Dr. Morr can help you decide which will be better for you. View Our Maryland Bridge Gallery
Implant Bridge. Implant bridges are made to sit on abutments that are attached directly to the implant. Implants are actually the ideal treatment for patients with missing teeth because they eliminate the need to cut down healthy adjacent abutment teeth.
How is a dental bridge made?
Bridges in Dr. Morr’s office are constructed from either precious alloys or zirconia. In certain situations, we are now able to offer monolithic bridges (meaning constructed in one layer) of a specific zirconia material Prettau®. This type of metal-free bridge is case selective. Ask Dr. Morr if this can be an option for you.
Porcelain is bonded to the underlying metal or zirconia substructure to give it its color and shape. Prettau® and similar bridge materials use CAD-CAM technology for fabrication, since the bridge must be fabricated very precisely to ensure correct bite and to match the opposing tooth.
This procedure usually takes two or three appointments to complete. At the first appointment Dr. Morr will prepare the teeth on either side of the gap by removing a portion of the enamel and dentin. Once the teeth are prepared, a provisional restoration will be fabricated to replace the missing tooth and reshape the prepared teeth.
Impressions of the teeth are taken and sent to a lab where the bridge will be constructed. There will usually be a framework try in appointment to ensure accuracy of fit of the framework. Once the fit is verified, this will be sent to the laboratory to finish the porcelain.
The final appointment will involve adjustment and cementation of the prosthesis.
Dental Bridge Maintenance
A strict regimen of brushing and flossing is critical to maintain the health the neighboring teeth the bridge relies on for support.