Simple Steps To Better Dental Health
Search
Help
space placeholder.space placeholder
Featuring consumer information from Columbia School of Dental & Oral Surgery
.
HomeFree E-mail
Oral Health Made Simple: Your Prescription For Knowledge
 PREVENT PROBLEMS
Small BoxAll About Cavities
Small BoxBrushing and Flossing
Small BoxFluoride
Small BoxMouth-Healthy Eating
Small BoxSealants
Small BoxTaking Care of Your Teeth
Small BoxTobacco
Small BoxYour Dental Visit
Small BoxMORE
 CONDITIONS
Small BoxBad Breath
Small BoxCavities
Small BoxCold Sores
Small BoxDry Mouth
Small BoxImpacted Tooth
Small BoxSensitive Teeth
Small BoxTMJ
Small BoxTooth Discoloration
Small BoxMORE
 TREATMENTS
Small BoxCrowns
Small BoxDentures
Small BoxFillings: The Basics
Small BoxGum Surgery
Small BoxImplants
Small BoxRoot Canal Treatment
Small BoxScaling and Root Planing
Small BoxWhitening
Small BoxMORE
 GENERAL TOPICS
Small BoxControlling Pain
Small BoxCosmetic Dentistry
Small BoxEmergencies
Small BoxFill, Repair, Replace
Small BoxKids And Teens
Small BoxOral Health and Your Body
Small BoxOrthodontics
Small BoxPeriodontics
Small BoxSeniors
Small BoxMORE
.
Step 1 Prevent ProblemsSimplestepsPrevent Problems
Step 2 Understand ConditionsSimplestepsUnderstand Conditions
Step 3 Explore TreatmentsSimplestepsExplore Treatments

go to Interactive Tools go to Parents' Guide go to Dental Drugs go to News go to Ask The Dentist

Back to Fill, Repair, Replace
New reviewed by Columbia banner
.
.
Bridges

A bridge, also known as a fixed removable denture, is made to replace one or more missing teeth. Bridges can be supported in any of three ways:

  • By natural teeth
  • By implants
  • By a combination of teeth and implants

A traditional bridge is made by creating a crown for the teeth on either side of the space and placing a false tooth or teeth between the crowns. The crowns, sometimes called caps, can be supported by natural teeth or by implants. The false tooth or teeth are attached to the crowns and fill the empty space.

If the teeth receiving the crowns are healthy and strong, they probably will not need root canal therapy. However, parts of the teeth will be removed to make space for the crowns. Traditional bridges are made either of porcelain fused to metal (PFM) or ceramics.

There are other types of bridges as well. A cantilever bridge is held in the mouth by one or more crowns on only one side of the space where a tooth is missing. A Maryland bonded bridge consists of a metal framework with "wings" on each side. The wings are bonded to the back of your existing teeth. The false teeth are also bonded to the framework. This type of bridge is also called a resin-bonded bridge or an acid-etched bridge.

Bonded bridges usually are not as expensive as traditional bridges. That's because the adjacent teeth need less preparation and do not get crowns. However, these bridges are only as strong as the bonding material. Resin-bonded bridges tend not to stay cemented in place as well as other kinds in parts of the mouth where there is a lot of biting force. They also may not be the best choice if the wings will have to be small to avoid getting in the way of the bite or the gums.

Getting a bridge requires at least two visits, but often more. At the first visit, your dentist prepares the teeth and covers them with temporary crowns. The dentist may also make impressions of the teeth.

The bridge is placed at later visits. On average, bridges last five to seven years. A major reason bridges fail is that new cavities develop on the supporting teeth. These cavities occur because of poor oral hygiene. With proper hygiene, which includes flossing your teeth under the bridge, they will last longer.

.
printer friendly format option iconPrinter-friendly version     
.
.
.
printer friendly format option iconPrinter-friendly version
 
  See Also . . .
Solution Sleuth
Graphic for How Tooth Decays showing internal view of toothIllustrations: How a Tooth Decays
......
Powered by Aetna Dental Plans

© 2002-2014 Aetna, Inc. All rights reserved. All information is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues and consult your physician before starting a new fitness regimen. Use of this online service is subject to the disclaimer and the terms and conditions. External website links provided on this site are meant for convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement. These external links open in a different window.