Tooth loss is so common that an estimated 69% of adults 35 to 44 have lost at least one adult tooth. A bridge is needed when 1 or 2 teeth are missing and dental implants are not a good option.
A bridge is a crown on a tooth next to the gap, connected to a false floating tooth (called a pontic), which is connected to another crown on the other side of the gap. This 3-tooth structure is called a bridge, and is not removable. The floating tooth appears to be a separate tooth, but it ends just as it touches the gums and has a rounded bottom.
Bridges might be a better option than implants when:
You might be tempted to skip a bridge altogether and leave the gap in your teeth as it is. But, it is critical to fill that gap so that the rest of your teeth stay aligned. Bridges also maintain your facial shape and prevent difficulties with eating or speaking.
Typically our bridges are made of:
Zirconia. When only one tooth is missing, behind the smile zone, zirconia is a tooth-colored material that is extremely strong and can be made in 1 appointment in the office.
Porcelain. When a front tooth is missing, new technology allows us to make beautiful bridges that are strong enough to function in the front of the mouth. These can usually be made in 1 appointment in the office.
Porcelain Fused to Metal. When more than one tooth is missing the back of the mouth, a metal coping is needed to provide strength for chewing. These cases are scanned with our digital impression and sent to a special laboratory. A temporary bridge is made for you to wear for 2 weeks until the permanent bridge is completed. Then you will return to the office for a short appointment to cement the bridge.