What is a dental bridge?
A dental bridge (short bridge) is a form of artificial dentures, with which one or more missing teeth are replaced. The adjacent teeth serve as pillars of the bridge, which can be used as removable as well as fixed dentures. The pillars are prepared like a crown and used for stabilization and attachment. There are individual dental bridges, but also those with several middle parts, which are used when several teeth are missing and should be replaced. A bridge can close tooth spaces with up to 4 missing teeth. The different types of bridges differ according to the type of attachment and materials.
Classification of the dental bridge according to the method of attachment in the mouth
Dental bridges are usually attached to natural teeth (“abutment teeth”). These are then each supplied with an artificial tooth crown. The crown forms the anchor and is therefore also called anchoring crown. Before the bridge can be used, the teeth to be crowned must be ground down. Since dentistry basically applies to obtain as much healthy tooth substance, the nature of the abutment teeth ultimately decides which anchoring form is selected for the bridge.
Full Crown Bridge
If the teeth, which are to serve as abutment teeth, are heavily damaged anyway and would also need to be crowned without a bridge, a full crown bridge is required.
Part Crown Bridge
If one of the pillar teeth is only partially damaged, the bridge can be attached to a partial crown. However, the partial crown dental bridge has the disadvantage that the chewing surfaces of the abutment teeth remain partially metal-colored. The bridge is also less stable than one worn on solid crowns. It is possible to equip one of the abutment teeth with a full crown and the other with a partial crown.
In the Adhesive Bridge (also Glue Bridge, Maryland Bridge), the bridge link is glued to the acidic and composite surfaces of the proximal or lingual surfaces of adjacent teeth. This technique is mainly used on the anterior teeth and offers the possibility to leave healthy teeth free of crowns.
The telescopic bridge is a hybrid between fixed and removable dentures (combined dentures) and is ideal if one of the abutment teeth is not expected to provide sufficient stability. The dental bridge is then not attached to the abutment teeth but connected by means of telescopic crowns (a double crown mechanism). Internal telescopes are firmly cemented to the supporting abutment teeth. The removable element consists of the outer telescopes, which are interconnected via intermediate links and thus close the tooth gaps.
If at least three teeth are left side by side, an implant bridge is the best solution. First, implants are used in the jaw, which serves as an artificial tooth root and pillar for the bridge. After a healing period of about 6 months, the bridge is attached to them. This shape of the bridge is the most expensive – a three-piece implant bridge as a replacement for three missing teeth.
A hybrid bridge (also mixed dental bridge, composite bridge, combination bridge) is used when at least two teeth are missing side by side and at least one of the neighboring teeth is healthy or when the double tooth gap is at the end of the row of teeth. Both real teeth and implants are used as anchors in the jaw.
Free end bridge
A free-end bridge (also extension bridge, suspension bridge) is attached only on one side and is often used in the case of missing molars. If the last molars are missing, there are no more natural abutment teeth to attach the back end of the dental bridge. One end of the bridge floats free. The abutment teeth are interlocked to provide additional support.
Care is better than cure, it is better to stop something bad from happening than it is to deal with it after it has happened. If it happened then don’t delay to book an online dentist appointment or contact your family or nearest best dentist to discuss and proper treatment and cure.