When you hear the word “bridge” you tend to immediately think of a structure that is grounded on either side of a river or other body of water, allowing you to walk or drive across. In a dental context, while there are no bodies of water involved, the principle is similar. A bridge crosses the space left by a missing tooth or other dental gap and helps secure the teeth on either side.
A bridge can serve a variety of purposes:
- Restoring the appearance of a full, healthy smile
- Restoring one’s ability to properly chew or speak
- Preventing tipping and closing of the space
A bridge is comprised of two dental crowns, also known as “caps.” Two crowns are placed on existing teeth for support of the “pontic” or artificial tooth to close the space from the missing tooth or teeth.
Common types of Dental Bridges:
- Traditional bridges – The most common type of bridge available. They can be made from high quality metals, such as gold, platinum, palladium, porcelain, or metal free options that are tooth colored. The material used is Zirconia, Lithium Disilicate, Alumina or a combination of these materials. Esthetics, function and tissue biocompatibility are considered when selecting which material is most suitable for your needs.
- Implant Supported – Bridges that use dental implants made of Titanium for the abutments use the same materials as traditional bridges. An implant supported bridge may be used because no natural teeth are available for support or the space is too large.
Having a bridge placed is actually quite a simple procedure. Here in our Portland office, Dr. Kennedy can complete both traditional and implant supported bridges.