When a tooth is missing, and not just damaged, crowns can be used as anchors on adjacent teeth, with a false tooth attached to “bridge” the gap.
What is a bridge?
A bridge is a false tooth that is fused to one or two crowns. This false tooth, or pontic, is held in its position on the gum by the anchoring crowns next to it.
What kind of bridges are there?
- The traditional fixed bridge is a false tooth fused to two crowns. The crowns fit permanently on the teeth on both sides of the new false tooth, and anchor it in place as a “bridge” over the gum. This dental technique is otherwise similar to regular crown procedure. The fixed bridge offers the most natural fit and appearance.
- The cantilever bridge is a false tooth that is anchored to a tooth or teeth on one side, and not the other. This dental technique is otherwise similar to regular crown procedure. A cantilever bridge does not have the same strength as a traditional fixed bridge and can only be used in areas of less stress, like front teeth.
- The removable bridge is not cemented permanently. It may be available at a lower cost, but will require extra hygiene attention.
What alternatives do I have to a bridge?
A partial denture is a removable appliance that can replace one or more teeth, and dental implants are a permanent alternative for missing teeth. Ask Dr. Gilsdorf about the advantages of each in your particular situation.