A Lesson in the Basics of Dental Bridges :

Unlike removable devices such as dentures, dental bridge work is cemented onto natural

teeth or dental implants on either side of a missing tooth. These anchor teeth are called

abutments. The replacement tooth -- called a pontic -- is attached to a dental crown on

each abutment. There are three main types of dental bridges.


Traditional Bridge: This is the most common type of bridge and is made of porcelain or

porcelain fused to metal.



Cantilever Bridge: The cantilever bridge supports the replacement tooth from just one

side. It is most often used when abutment teeth are located on only one side of the missing

tooth or in areas of the mouth that are under less stress.


Maryland Bonded Bridge: Also known as a resin-bonded bridge, this type is generally

only used in the front of the mouth where the biting force is less strong. It consists of a

false tooth fused to metal bands and bonded to abutment teeth with resin.


Replacement teeth for can be made of several materials, including gold, alloys, porcelain or

a combination of these. Some types of dental bridges cost more than others. You and your

dentist can decide which dental bridge work is best for you based on the placement, function,

look and expense of the replacement tooth.


The Dental Bridge Procedure

A minimum of two dental visits are required to complete dental bridge work. During the

first visit, your dentist may need to file down the abutment teeth so that the dental crown

will fit over each leaving enough room in between for the replacement tooth. The second

step in the dental bridge procedure is for your dentist to take an impression. This gives

a laboratory an exact mold to use when creating your bridge. Your dentist will make a

temporary bridge to protect the exposed teeth and gums while the permanent version is

being made. To complete the dental bridge procedure, you'll need to return for a second appointment. Your dentist will remove your temporary and the new permanent bridge will

be put in place. Placement usually involves some adjustments to get the fit just right.


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