Bridges

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h-bridgeA bridge, otherwise known as a fixed partial denture, is a dental device that fills a space that a tooth previously occupied. It is not removable by the patient. (A device that is removable by the patient is called a partial denture). A bridge may be necessary to prevent:

  • Shifting of the teeth that can lead to bite problems (occlusion) and/or jaw problems and resultant periodontal disease.
  • Bridges safeguard the integrity of existing teeth and help maintain a healthy, vibrant smile.

There are three main types of bridges, namely:

  • A fixed bridge is the most popular and consists of a filler tooth that is attached to two crowns, which fit over the existing adjacent teeth and hold the bridge in place.
  • The “Maryland” bridge is commonly used to replace missing front teeth and consists of a filler that is attached to metal bands that are bonded to the back of the adjacent teeth.
  • The cantilever bridge is often used when there are teeth on only one side of the missing tooth/teeth. A typical three-unit cantilever bridge consists of two crowned teeth positioned next to each other on the same side of the missing tooth space. The filler tooth is then connected to the two crowned teeth, which extend into the missing tooth space or end.