A dental bridge, also known as a fixed partial denture, is very similar to a dental crown, and is used as a restorative dental treatment to replace one or multiple missing teeth in the same area. It does this by joining permanently to adjacent natural teeth or dental implants next to the teeth being treated. Essentially, a dental bridge “bridges” the gap left behind from one or more missing teeth. A dental bridge is supported by either natural teeth around the gap, or by dental implants. It is a fixed (non-removable) appliance and is an excellent way to replace missing teeth.
There are several types of bridges, depending on how they are fabricated and the way in which they anchor to the adjacent teeth. You and your dentist will discuss the best options for your particular case. The “traditional bridge” is the most popular type and is usually made of porcelain fused to metal. This type of bridge consists of two crowns that go over two anchoring teeth (abutment teeth) and are attached to pontics (artificial teeth), filling the gap created by one or more missing teeth.
Dental bridges are highly durable and will last many years, however they may need replacement or need to be re-cemented due to normal wear.
Reasons for a fixed dental bridge:
- Fill space of missing teeth
- Maintain facial shape
- Prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position
- Restore chewing and speaking ability
- Restore your smile
- Upgrade from a removable partial denture to a permanent dental appliance