Where bridgework is the preferred option, this involves the teeth (or tooth) adjacent to the space being used to support a laboratory-made restoration. This involves the preparation of these adjacent teeth which must be healthy in order to carry out the work required to support the bridge in function. This restoration is cemented or bonded into place to close the space and ‘bridge’ the gap caused by tooth loss.
Bridges can be made from a variety of materials just like crowns, and the exact type of bridge and the material it is constructed from depends upon the requirements for strength, function and aesthetics in any given area. Bridges can be used to restore single tooth spaces or multiple tooth spaces depending upon the requirements for individual cases.
This type of bridge involves the use of artificial teeth with attached wings. The attached wings are then cemented to the supporting teeth to hold the bridge in place in the mouth.
Such bridges require minimal preparation of the supporting teeth, however, may debond in extremes of function. For these reasons, adhesive bridges are generally used either as temporary bridgework, or as permanent bridges at the front of the mouth.
This type of bridge requires more substantial preparation of the teeth which will support the bridge. The supporting teeth are crowned and a crown to fill the space is produced. All of these units are then fused together to form the bridge which fills the space of the missing tooth. These bridges are very strong in function, although they do require strong supporting teeth. They are generally used towards the back of the mouth.
In order for the bridgework to be successful, it is essential that the supporting teeth are strong enough to support the bridge in function. If the supporting teeth (or tooth) have undergone previous root canal therapy or have been restored using a post, they may not be suitable for restoration with bridgework and alternative means of restoration may be required.
Following preparation of teeth as bridge supports, impressions are taken and the prepared teeth restored with temporary material to protect them whilst the bridge is being constructed in the laboratory. After construction, the bridge is cemented or bonded into place to restore form and function to the mouth.Back to Restorative Dentistry