Bridges

A fixed bridge technique has been used with high success for many years to replace a missing tooth or teeth. Teeth on both sides of the space left by the missing tooth are prepared for a crown. Then a false tooth is joined to the crowns, and the entire bridge is cemented to the prepared teeth. The patient cannot remove the bridge, and special aids are available to keep it clean. Although dental implants are often considered the “gold standard” for the replacement of missing teeth, in the appropriate circumstance, a fixed bridge can be a viable alternative. After a comprehensive examination, your prosthodontist can advise you which treatment is best for you.

There are a variety of circumstances that may lead to missing teeth and the need for a bridge. For example:

  • If diagnosed and treated early, most cavities and decayed teeth can be treated simply with a filling, but in some cases the decay is so extensive the tooth cannot be restored and must be extracted.
  • Patients with a cleft lip often experience a missing tooth or teeth in a position corresponding to the cleft.
  • The forces generated by a patient grinding his/her teeth may be great enough to severely fracture a tooth leading to its extraction.