If you are missing teeth and have a large gap, it is important to see your San Ramon dentist right away! The gap can cause your teeth to shift, and as a result, you can feel severe pain when you bite and chew.
A dental bridge is often used to fill these gaps. Dental bridges consist of using the teeth surrounding the gap as anchors for a replacement false tooth. Typically, porcelain crowns are placed over the surrounding teeth, and the false tooth, known as a pontic, is fused between them.
Types of Dental Bridges
Traditional fixed bridge - This is the most common type of dental bridge in which porcelain crowns are placed over the two surrounding teeth and used as anchors to hold the false tooth in place. The false tooth is usually made of either porcelain fused to metal, or ceramics.
Cantilever bridge – A cantilever bridge is used when teeth are present on only one side of the gap. These are used typically in areas of your mouth that don’t experience intense chewing loads (such as your front teeth).
Resin-bonded bridge - In a resin-bonded bridge, metal bands are bonded to the surrounding teeth using resin, and the bands help to hold a plastic false tooth in place. This type of bridge is also typically used in areas of the mouth that undergo less stress.
How Dental Bridges Are Made
A minimum of two visits is required for placing a dental bridge. During the first visit, three important steps are completed.
Firstly, the surrounding teeth are prepared to be fitted with a crown. This may include filing down the tooth so that the crown can fit over it. Secondly, an impression is taken of your teeth which will be sent to a laboratory to prepare the bridge and crown.
Finally, the dentist fits your teeth with a temporary bridge to protect them while the bridge is prepared at the laboratory.
At the second visit, the temporary bridge is removed and the new bridge received from the laboratory is fitted and adjusted. Multiple visits may be necessary to check and adjust the fit.