A bridge may be recommended if you’re missing one or more teeth. Gaps left by missing teeth eventually cause the remaining teeth to rotate or shift into the empty spaces, resulting in a bad bite. The imbalance caused by missing teeth can also lead to gum disease, fractured teeth and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.
Bridges can be attached to other teeth or implants by crowns which are bonded in and are called Fixed Restorations. Bridges are commonly used to replace one or more missing teeth. They span the space where the teeth are missing. Bridges are cemented to the natural teeth or implants surrounding the empty space. These teeth, called abutments, serve as anchors for the bridge. A replacement tooth, called a pontic, is attached to the crowns that cover the abutments. As with crowns, you have a choice of materials for bridges. Your dentist can help you decide which to use, based on the location of the missing tooth (or teeth), its function, aesthetic considerations and cost. Porcelain or ceramic bridges can be matched to the color of your natural teeth. They look, feel and function like natural teeth.
Removable Bridge (Partial Denture)
A bridge can be removable, called a partial denture. It depends on remaining existing teeth and is custom fit to give adequate retention for chewing and speaking. A partial denture rests on a metal framework that attaches to your natural teeth. A partial may also have an acrylic framework depending on the patient’s needs and desires. Sometimes crowns are placed on some of your natural teeth and serve as anchors for the denture. It must be removed and cleaned daily. Partial dentures offer a removable alternative to bridges.