A bridge is a dental restoration that fills a space that a tooth previously occupied. It is cemented in the mouth and is not taken in or out. If a dental implant is not desired or in rare cases cannot be placed a bridge may be the best option to replace a missing tooth or teeth. Having the bridge in place allows better function (chewing) and esthetics. A bridge may be necessary to prevent:
- Shifting of the teeth that can lead to bite problems (occlusion) and/or jaw problems or even result in periodontal disease.
- Bridges safeguard the integrity of existing teeth and help maintain a healthy, vibrant smile.
Types of Bridges
- Fixed bridge- this is the most popular and consists of a filler tooth that is attached to two crowns which fit over existing teeth on each side of the space and are used to cement the bridge in place.
- The “Maryland” bridge is commonly used to replace missing front teeth and consists of a filler that is attached to wings that are bonded to teeth on each side of the missing tooth area. When a Maryland bridge can be used it may limit the amount of shaping necessary on the teeth which hold the bridge in place.
- The Cantilever bridge is often used when there are teeth on only one side of the span. Most often this can be used to replace a missing front tooth which limits the amount of teeth involved in the restoration.