Building Bridges to Better Dental Health
Dental bridges are among the oldest forms of prosthetic dentistry, and as their name suggests, the dental prostheses are designed to bridge gaps in smiles left by permanent tooth loss. If you’ve lost a single tooth, or up to three teeth in an adjacent row, then a dental bridge can help you regain your smile by taking up the slack in your bite.
What a Bridge is Made Of
Often made from porcelain, zirconia, metal, or a combination of either, dental bridges consist of one or more replacement teeth – called pontics – and two dental crowns on either end. When the crowns are attached to the healthy teeth beside the gap – called abutment teeth – they hold the pontic(s) steady in place of your missing tooth/teeth. Because the dental bridge is affixed to your healthy teeth, the prosthesis is permanent, or fixed, and can only be removed by your dentist.
Depending on how many teeth you’ve lost, Dr. Crouch may recommend an implant-supported partial denture or dental crown rather than a bridge. Supporting your replacement teeth on one or more dental implants helps you avoid the need to modify your healthy teeth to accept the crowns of a bridge.