When a tooth is missing, one option for recovering the use of the missing tooth is to place a bridge. A dental bridge works in a similar way that a literal bridge works. You might imagine a bridge over a river, or valley. There needs to be support on both sides, allowing for strength and stability. If the span is longer, more support may be needed to hold the bridge firm over a long term.
With a dental bridge, the rules can be similar. Providing that we have good support on both sides of the gap, we can then consider using a bridge to replace the missing tooth. There can be situations where it’s multiple missing teeth, however, when those situations arise, we then need to be strategic, and consider how we would address that, how many teeth would become “bridge pillars” and how many “pontics” would there be. You can see in the image that a pontic is the part of the bridge you might refer to as the span.
Materials & Pricing
Today there are a few different ways that we can fabricate a bridge. The former standard used to be the PFM construction. PFM stands for Porcelain Fused to Metal. It provides a strong base, and a cosmetic appearance. Developments in technology have allowed for better looking, and better performing materials and processes to be used. We now have the ability to create CAD-CAM (commonly known as CEREC) bridges using 3D scanning technology, and precision milling processes. Most often, we do this with Zirconia – Porcelain to produce a final product that mimics the appearance of your natural teeth to an almost imperceptible level.Bridges are typically priced using the number of crowns in the bridge. For the pricing shown, we have used a three tooth bridge as an example.
A three tooth bridge is the most common, however, there are situations where a 4 or 5 tooth bridge may be a good strategic plan.
In cases where many teeth are missing, we also consider Implants as a solution.