A bridge, also known as a fixed partial denture, is a dental restoration used to replace a missing tooth by joining permanently to adjacent teeth or dental implants.
There are different types of bridges, depending on how they are fabricated and the way they anchor to the adjacent teeth. Conventionally, bridges are made using the indirect method of restoration however, bridges can be fabricated directly in the mouth using such materials as composite resin.
A bridge may be needed to prevent:
- Shifting of teeth that may lead to bite problems (occlusion) and/or jaw problems and resultant periodontal (gum) disease.
- Bridges safeguard the integrity of existing teeth and help maintain a healthy, vibrant smile.
There are two main types of bridges, namely:
- Fixed bridge- this is the most popular and consists of a filler tooth that is attached to two crowns, which fit over the existing teeth and hold the bridge in place.
- The Cantilever bridge is often used when there are teeth on only one side of the span. A typical three-unit cantilever bridge consists of two crowned teeth positioned next to each other on the same side of the missing tooth space. The filler tooth is then connected to the two crowned teeth, which extend into the missing tooth space or end.
Michael R. Ellis, DDS serving Bristol, Farmington, Unionville, Burlington and surrounding Connecticut towns in Northwest CT