One technique for replacing missing teeth is called fixed bridgework. The word “fixed” refers to the fact that it is attached to the teeth and cannot be removed. Just as a bridge spans a river and is attached to both sides, dental “ bridgework ” is attached to the teeth on both sides of a space and spans the missing area with artificial teeth.
How is it attached to the adjacent teeth?
The adjacent teeth are smoothed down by about a millimetre, and a custom-made piece, like a crown, is constructed to slide over each smoothed-down tooth. Along with the false tooth or teeth in between, the whole bridge is one solid piece.
What material is bridgework made out of?
While bridgework can be made of cast gold or titanium or other metal, most bridgework today is custom porcelain with a precious metal framework underneath (for strength). This gives us the best combination of strength and looks. There are all-ceramic (metal-free) bridge options, but they only suitable in some cases.
What is the procedure?
The first visit is not unlike a longer filling appointment. The teeth are smoothed down and a very accurate model of the area is taken with a rubber-like material, or a digital image of them is captured with the intraoral optical scanner. Temporary plastic covers are made to protect the prepared teeth for the week or two while the laboratory constructs the bridgework.
When you return, the temporary covers are removed and the bridgework is tried in. After any minor adjustments are made, the bridgework is then cemented or bonded onto the teeth.
How do I clean around my bridgework?
There are some tricks to flossing under the bridge and we can show you these. But essentially the bridgework is treated just like your natural teeth and you will not be aware of any difference.
Like any restorative procedure, bridgework is undertaken after planning and consultation. Talk to one of our dentists today about restoring your oral health by replacing missing teeth, and whether fixed bridgework is the right option for you.