A bridge is a restorative option for tooth replacement if a tooth is missing. There are three types of bridges
- a fixed bridge,
- a removable bridge
- and an implant retained bridge
A fixed bridge can be a great option for someone who does not have adequate bone for implants or who has teeth adjacent to a missing tooth that are in need of large restorations or crowns. It is permanent bridge is cemented and can’t be removed. It entails making crown preps on the teeth adjacent to the space and then placing what looks like 2 crowns on the supporting teeth and a fake crown attached in between.
The number of teeth replaced depends on the strength of the teeth, the amount of root surface supporting the bridge, and the number of teeth missing. A bridge can be made of many materials including all gold, porcelain over a metal framework;(PFM), all ceramic (emax), or zirconium. The material chosen depends on the vertical space available to work between the top and bottom teeth, the esthetic needs, and whether or not a patient has any parafunctional habits such as grinding or clenching.
A removable bridge can replace many teeth with one appliance that comes in and out. It is usually made of acrylic and is sometimes referred to as a removable denture. It generally has metal or acrylic clasps that hook onto the remaining teeth for retention and stability.
An implant bridge is one that is supported by implants. This is also a fixed option meaning it does not come out of the mouth.