Fixed bridges are a type of restoration that fills a space where one or more teeth have been lost. You must have 1 healthy natural tooth on each side of the open space in order for this to be a viable option. A fixed bridge is bonded or cemented into place, and can only be removed by a dentist.
Bridges usually take more than one visit. Upon your first visit, the doctor will prepare the teeth on either side of the gap. The bridge will be attached to these teeth.
The dentist will then take an impression of your teeth and the space and sends it to the lab. At the lab, technicians work to make your bridge out of metal, ceramics, glass-ceramics, or a combination of these. Your dentist will make a temporary bridge to protect your teeth until the permanent bridge comes back.
The pieces of a bridge:
- Crown: a “cap” that cover the tooth on the side of the gap
- Pontic: the replacement tooth
During one or more of the visits after your impression, the bridge is cemented into place and adjusted to your needs.
- Look, feel, and function like natural teeth
- Less expensive than implants
- Don’t need to be removed to be cleaned
- Often more expensive than a removable partial denture
- Affect the teeth next to the gap
- Often requires extra effort (floss threaders) to clean under the pontic