A dental bridge, also called a “fixed bridge” or a “fixed dental prosthesis,” is required to replace one or more missing teeth. It extends across an area that has no teeth and is typically made up of an artificial tooth fused between two crowns. The bridge is held firmly in place by your own teeth on each side of the missing one(s) or by dental implants. A dental bridge is permanent and cannot be removed.
Dental bridges are created in one of two ways; they require two visits to our offices.
On your first visit, if you have healthy teeth to either side of a missing tooth (or teeth), your dentist will file down the two healthy teeth to make them ready for the bridge.
Or, if you don’t have healthy teeth or enough teeth to support a bridge, then dental implants may be surgically placed. A dental implant is an artificial root made of titanium metal that is inserted into the jawbone to replace the root of the natural tooth. The implant acts as an anchor to hold an artificial tooth or bridge in place.
Once the healthy teeth are prepared or the implants have been placed, your dentist makes a model of your teeth by taking impressions (molds). This model will be used to create the artificial tooth (or teeth) and anchoring crowns as one single unit, the “bridge.”
At the end of your first visit your dentist places a temporary bridge in your mouth to protect the exposed teeth and gums.
You will visit a second time once your bridge has been created. During your second visit, your dentist removes the temporary bridge and places the custom-made bridge in your mouth. The crowns are either cemented to your two healthy teeth or attached to your dental implants on each side of the missing tooth (or teeth).