"Great things start with a smile!" Dr Rosenblat

Bridges

Today people can realistically expect to keep their teeth a lifetime.  Sometimes, whether it is due to dental disease or accident, teeth can be lost.  There are numerous ways to replace missing teeth.  How that is accomplished all depends on the particular circumstances of the tooth loss. 

When one or a few teeth are lost the most old fashioned way to replace them is with a removable denture.  While this may be the "easiest" and least costly way to replace a few missing teeth, they certainly are not entirely lifelike in appearance and use.  They move when you eat and need to be removed to clean and at bedtime.

Bridges meet the more demanding needs of lifelike appearance and function.  They are fixed in place, and do not move when eating or speaking.  Just like a bridge over a river a bridge spans the space of missing teeth and attach to teeth on either side of this gap- hence the name.  Of course there must be solid teeth on each side of the space created by lost teeth!

tooth supported fixed bridge for a missing tooth

The solid teeth on either side of the space are just like crowns and therefore can give certain advantages just like crowns in allowing us to change the shape and colour of those teeth as well as strengthen heavily filled or damaged teeth.  But if those teeth have small or no fillings, we would need to remove a lot of good tooth structure.  This is an important consideration.  Dental implants can also be used for making bridges-in a very similar way as on natural teeth.  See our dental implant page for more information.

The technology for making dental bridges have been around along time and has a good track record.

Advantages:

  • not removable
  • does not move when eating or speaking
  • natural appearance- made with porcelain so it can be very lifelike in appearance
  • more durable and long lasting than removable dentures
  • can make the colour and shape of the teeth how ever desired to improve appearance
  • can strengthen anchor teeth if they have large fillings

Disadvantages:

  • if anchoring teeth have little or no fillings-dentist needs to remove healthy tooth structure
  • if gums have shrunken away where teeth have been lost, this cannot be replaced by the bridge- this can be very important for missing front teeth when you smile
  • add effort to clean underneath as food & dental plaque can accumulate promoting tooth decay on anchor teeth and gum disease

Today, there is an alternative to bridges that allow missing teeth to be replaced without touching nearby teeth:  Dental Implants.  These are designed to be just like your natural teeth!