Bridges are restoration appliances that fill the gap created by missing teeth. They consist of one or more porcelain teeth affixed to the adjacent teeth.
There are various ways to attach the bridge to the neighbouring teeth, so naturally, there are several kinds of bridges. The name of the bridge is determined by how it is attached.
Take the butterfly bridge, for example. This type of bridge rarely replaces more than one or two teeth and is fixed in place with wings glued to the hidden surface of the teeth on either side of the space to be filled.
Another type is the conventional bridge. The conventional bridge can replace more than one tooth and is fixed onto at least one crown on either side of the bridge. These teeth act as pillars for the bridge. This type of bridge requires the pillar teeth to be filed down, making it less conservative but more durable than the butterfly bridge.
We can also use a wing on one side and a crown on the other. This type of bridge is called a hybrid.
The California bridge is attached using inlays instead of crowns, and is thus much more conservative.
Regardless of the type of bridge chosen, several appointments are needed prior to fitting. The full procedure requires two impressions to be taken for the bridge to be made in the laboratory. The pillar teeth are filed, a final impression is taken and then a temporary bridge is fitted. During the last visit, the temporary bridge is replaced by a permanent bridge. The shade and shape are chosen, taking into account the patient’s opinion.
When it comes to making a bridge, there is no margin of error. You must, therefore, be prepared to spend time and money. But as soon as the bridge is fitted, there’s no denying the value of having invested in this restorative process.
To discuss the options available to you, contact your dental health professional.