Reviewed by: Dr. Kristen Dority
This type of dental appliance can bridge the gap over a missing tooth. Bridges that are cantilevered and only attached to one tooth can also extend the range of chewing surface in patients who have lost molars in the back of the mouth.
Bridges are not removable and are way to keep adjacent teeth from shifting when a tooth is lost. With good home care and regular checkups, bridges generally last 10 years or more.
Dentists with an eye for detail and arrangements with good dental laboratories to install bridges are most successful in making bridges that fit correctly. In cases where the false crown of the bridge does not completely seal over the natural tooth structure, decay can set in under the bridge that can undermine the stationary prosthesis.
To install a bridge, dentists first prepare the teeth on which the appliance will be anchored. Then they take an impression of the area, which in turn is sent to the lab that makes the bridge.
Once the prosthesis is finished, dentists should be able to place the bridge without excessive adjustment. Some refining is generally needed, but should fitting the bridge take an inordinate amount of adjustment, dentists will often want to take a second impression and return the bridge to the lab for amendment.
Last updated: 13-May-05