(Requires 5-7 days)
A bridge is a device used to fill the space where a tooth has fallen out or been removed. A typical bridge consists of a pontic (a filler tooth) that is attached to two surrounding crowns (abutments). Once complete, this bridge structure is bonded into the mouth. Without the use of a bridge, spaces in the mouth from missing teeth can cause multiple teeth to shift, lead to occlusion (biting) and/or jaw problems, and may spur periodontal disease. Bridges safeguard the integrity of existing teeth and help maintain a healthy, vibrant smile.
Bridges usually require two trips to the dentist’s office. During the initial visit, the surrounding teeth are numbed with a local anesthetic. The dentist prepares the surrounding teeth by cleaning any plaque or decay that remains and reducing them so that the crowns can be fitted. The dentist makes a mold of the teeth and sends it off to a dental lab where the customized impression is prepared. The customized mold might take one to three days to return to the office. In the interim, patients are fitted with a temporary bridge constructed of acrylic resin. When the patient returns to the dental office, the dentist removes the temporary bridge and replaces it with the permanent one. The dentist then adjusts the bridge for the proper bite and fit, and the bridge is permanently bonded into the mouth.