Dental bridges are technically called as Fixed partial dentures(FPD). They are used to cover up an edentulous(no teeth) space, with the support of the adjacent teeth or implant. The structure has two parts a pontic and abutments.
For example, when one tooth is missing the adjacent teeth to the missing tooth are prepared and taken for support, the supportive structure is called an abutment. With the help of these abutment crowns a new tooth is joint and placed in the edentulous space, this tooth is known as pontic.
When a tooth or teeth is extracted, the adjacent teeth slowly rotate or move and come to the empty space. This causes an imbalance in the bite resulting in imbalance bite, gum disease, and dental caries.
Dental bridges help in replacing the empty space with artificial teeth, avoiding the complications caused by missing teeth.
Dental bridges are made of individual crowns fused together, the crowns can be of any material like zirconia, ceramic, metal, or acrylic.
When a bridge is suggested, the adjacent teeth are reduced from its original size (that is removing the enamel), This is called crown preparation.
It’s always better to do an intentional root canal treatment to the abutment teeth, as they may cause sensitivity problems or infection to the abutment teeth in the future.
An impression is taken with silica material and sent to the lab.
The bridge is fabricated in the dental lab and sent to the clinic for trial. If the trial is fine, the bridge is again sent to the lab for polishing.
After pushing, the bridge is sent to the clinic. In the clinic, the bridge is disinfected and cemented in the patient’s mouth.
The cement uses for lutting is glass ionomer cement.
The dental bridge lifetime depends on what type of material you use. Dental bridges may last for a lifetime if it’s made of zirconia or ceramic.
The lifetime also depends on the patient’s bite force and usage, maintaining good oral hygiene by brushing twice a day, mouthwash with fluoride, and flossing.
Anyone with missing tooth/teeth with strong adjacent teeth or decayed and restored adjacent teeth with good enamel.
Individuals who do not want to implant in the missing region or implant can not be placed in the missing region.
Very hard foods and chewy foods like bubble gum and sticky toffee musty be avoided.
This may sound crazy, do not open crown cork bottle caps with any artificial teeth.
You can place a temporary dental bridge after extraction and permanent bridge must be placed only after the bones and gums have completely healed(that is after one month).
Traditional bridge: the above mentioned two abutments with pontic is a traditional bridge. This is completely done with natural teeth.
Cantilever bridge: this similar to the traditional bridge, the pontic is supported by a single abutment natural tooth.
Maryland bridge: the pontic tooth is supported by a holding wing that goes behind the natural teeth. The holding wing is then bonded with cement to the natural teeth superficially. The advantage of this type of bridge is no teeth cutting(crown preparation) is not required. Its main drawback is the long span of teeth is not possible, the bridge is not stable as traditional as they are bonded specifically.
Implant bridge: the difference between implant bridge and the traditional bridge is, natural teeth are used as an abutment in traditional bridge whereas implant abutment is used in implant bridge.
1. Adjacent natural teeth are used in a bridge,
natural teeth are not necessary for implant
2. Bone resorption continues in the bridge,
Bone absorption occurs in the implant.
3. Bridge Can be placed in very narrow space,
The implant cannot be done in narrow spaces.
4. The bridge is more affordable if done without root canal treatment for the abutment teeth.
Little expensive than a bridge but more effective.