A bridge is a dental restoration that is cemented in and attached to the teeth on either side of the space where a tooth is missing. It consists of two crowns with an extra tooth in the middle. This extra tooth is called a pontic.
A bridge is typically recommended over an implant if one or both teeth on each side of the space already have crowns on them. Bridges are also recommended if there isn’t enough bone structure to hold an implant.
Dr. Bellingham typically provides all-porcelain zirconia bridges. A zirconia bridge is made from a solid block of high strength porcelain material. Another option is a porcelain fused to metal (PMF) bridge. A PFM bridge has metal core with a porcelain layer placed on top. While a metal core can in cases be stronger, the outside layer of porcelain is prone to chipping and breaking, exposing the grey metal underneath.
Bridge Treatment at Bellingham Family Dentistry
After your mouth is numb, Dr. Bellingham will prepare the teeth on either side of the empty space for the bridge. This means we remove some tooth structure from the top and sides of the teeth to allow the bridge to fit over them. We then take an impression of those prepared teeth, and place a temporary bridge. Once the permanent bridge has returned from the lab, we will remove the temporary and adjust and cement the permanent bridge.
To care for your bridge, it is essential to brush and floss each side of the bridge. You will use either a specialized toothbrush or a device called a floss threader to brush and floss underneath the bridge pontic. As always, regular visits to our Plano dental office for professional cleanings will help your bridge, and the rest of your teeth, stay healthy.