A bridge is a dental restoration used to replace a missing tooth (or several teeth) by joining an artificial tooth permanently to adjacent teeth or dental implants. The artificial teeth are cemented with a permanent dental cement to your existing teeth and function like normal teeth.
A conventional bridge is started by reducing the teeth on either side of the missing tooth or teeth and an impression or mold of your teeth is then taken.. The dimensions of the bridge are defined by Ante’s Law: “The root surface area of the supporting teeth has to equal or surpass that of the teeth being replaced with artificial teeth”. Your dentist at Moorpark Smiles will determine whether or not you are a candidate for a bridge or if an alternate method of tooth replacement is recommended.
The materials used for the bridges include gold, porcelain fused to metal, porcelain, and zirconium. The recipient of a bridge must be careful to clean well underneath the artificial teeth and around the supporting teeth with floss. With regular dental visits, and proper home care, a dental bridge can last many years and stabilize your bite and increase your chewing efficiency.
To be a candidate for a conventional bridge, it is best if the teeth surrounding the space are in good alignment. If they are not, a bridge is still an option, but a precision attachment will need to be utilized which is a specialized connection to compensate for misaligned support teeth.
Another alternative to a conventional bridge is a resin retained bridge which is utilized on our patients that need tooth replacement and they have teeth on both sides of the space which have never had decay in the past. In this bridge, there is only slight modification of the teeth next to the missing tooth. An impression or mould of the teeth is made and an artificial tooth is fabricated in the lab with an extension on each side which resembles a wing. The bridge is then cemented to the teeth with composite resin.