Dental Bridges are restorations which replace one or more missing teeth. Custom-crafted and as natural looking as real teeth, bridges closely approximate the proper bite between the upper and lower jaw.
Often, dentists utilize bridgework to connect replacement teeth with dental implants or with existing natural teeth. Bridges can be made from gold alloys, porcelain or a combination of the 2 plus other materials. They attach to teeth just below the gum line or to the jaw bone itself.
Sometimes, bridgework is called a fixed partial denture because the appliance is similar to a permanent appliance and is highly durable as well. Bridgework bonds very well to implants or to natural teeth.
Caring for dental bridges depends, in part, on how it has been designed. Removable bridges require routine dental hygiene. Fixed appliances need maintenance by a dentist and dental hygienist.
Most of the time, the artificial teeth are made smaller in size than their natural counterparts. When the new teeth are scaled down in this way, they hold the restoration materials much better. All patients who have these types of dental restorations must be diligent to brush their teeth and clean their prosthetics twice a day and to floss daily.
Check-ups and dental cleaning should occur at 6 month intervals or as your dentist recommends. This reduces the build-up of plaque and tartar which can lead to cavities, gum disease, and tooth loss.
Sometimes, tooth decay is extensive, and a restoration called a dental crown is necessary. A crown sets on your healthy tooth and root structure or on a metal implant. When bridgework spans a large gap, skillful fitting by an experienced dentist is critical, and neighboring teeth most be able to support the prosthesis.
The dentist will use a rule of practice called Ante’s Rule to make sure teeth can properly support the dental bridge. This rule says that the total root surface of the neighboring natural teeth must meet or exceed the total root surface of the teeth that are being replaced by the bridge.