A bridge or a dental bridge is a, most often fixed, dental prosthesis attached to abutment teeth via the so-called “anchor” (usually crowns). This type of dental prosthesis is therefore called “bridge”, as one or more tooth gaps are bridged over by artificial teeth. Type and execution of a bridge differ greatly, and can, for example, be differentiated according to:
- looks (e.g. metallic or tooth-coloured),
- the material used,
- way of preparation,
- size of the bridge,
- anchoring at or in the tooth,
- form of the bridge.
- In case of the “self-cleaning bridge”, the bridge element is not placed directly on the jaw - it hovers above the jaw, instead
- In contrast, the bridge element of a “base bridge” is more or less expanded on the alveolar ridge
- The “cantilever bridge” has only one bridge element bordering the abutment, which is not optimal static-wise
- The term “tooth-implant-supported fixed partial denture” describes a bridge made from different materials on the one hand, and on the other constructions where both an original tooth and an implant are used as abutments
- In case of an “adhesive bridge”, the missing tooth is glued together with the neighbouring teeth
- The “inlay bridge” does not use crowns as abutment teeth, but cast fillings or ceramic inlays to anchor them to the natural teeth
- The “removable bridge” can be removed for cleaning purposes by the wearer due to its special design, but has the same characteristics as a conventional bridge
Conventional 3-part bridge supply
The 5 most important questions on the subject of dental bridges
What do I have to be careful of when cleaning a bridge?It is important for wearers of a dental bridge to regularly clean the teeth thoroughly, too. No caries can form on the artificial teeth of the bridge, but there is a weak point - the edge of the crown. This is the area, where the abutment passes into the natural teeth and the gums. Therefore, this area requires special attention during cleaning. Furthermore, plaque can form on the surface of a bridge, which can possibly lead to gum irritations and inflammation. Generally, it is recommended to complement the dental hygiene with a brush with the use of dental floss and interdental brushes.
How long does the treatment take?In an optimal case, the treatment for inserting a dental bridge takes place across three sessions. The first session is for the preparation of the area. The neighbouring abutment teeth are ground to make a good base for the dental bridge. Afterwards, a dental impression is made and the colours of the teeth are analysed. In many cases, the treatment will end with the dentist inserting a temporary denture that is worn by the patient until the permanent bridge is mounted. The previously made impression is sent to a dental laboratory, where the dental bridge is constructed and manufactured. During a second session, the bridge framework - the bridge without the veneer from tooth-coloured material - is “tried on” on the tooth. If this framework proves to be a good fit and no tension is caused, the bridge framework is returned to the laboratory for completion. The third session is at last purposed for inserting the completed bridge. Depending on the circumstances, additional sessions might be necessary, e.g. when abutment teeth are in a bad condition and have to be improved beforehand, or when the abutment teeth contain too little enamel and the crown cannot be placed properly.
How much does a bridge cost?The costs of a bridge are comprised of three parts
- Cost of treatment by the dentist,
- costs of the dental laboratory,
- material costs.
How long does a bridge last?A well-fit and perfectly cared for bridge can last several decades. Losing a dental bridge can happen due to materials, or caused by other factors, such as e.g.
- an already present paradontosis,
- wrong or insufficient dental hygiene,
- a tooth with a root-canal treatment used as an abutment tooth,
- heavy crunching and/or pressing.