A dental bridge is an alternative to replacing missing teeth that involves having an artificial tooth supported by surrounding natural teeth. They are made in the dental laboratory and are cemented on the patient’s teeth and thus are not meant to be removable. There are different types of bridges:
Traditional bridge - involves having crowns on each tooth, adjacent (or either side) to the missing teeth. The replacement tooth is called a pontic. These bridges are cemented into place and can only be removed by a dentist.
Maryland (resin bonded) bridge – replacement teeth having “wings” on 1 or 2 sides that are bonded onto the back surfaces of the adjacent teeth using composite resin cement.
Resin bonded cantilever bridge with 1 ‘wing’
What is involved in making a bridge?
The procedure is normally done under local anesthesia whereby the dentist will spend approximately 1 to 1.5 hours to prepare the supporting teeth/tooth for a bridge. An accurate impression will then be taken and sent to a certified dental laboratory for fabrication of the dental bridge, which will be ready for cementation approximately 2 weeks later. In the meantime, temporary crowns or a temporary bridge can be fabricated to support the prepared teeth.