Our Services Dental Bridges

Adult teeth may be lost for a variety of reasons, such as advanced periodontal disease, trauma, or decay. If missing teeth are not replaced, the remaining teeth often drift out of position. Areas where this has occurred are far more likely to develop gum disease, tooth sensitivity, and decay. Ultimately, the loss of one tooth that is not replaced frequently results in the loss of other teeth.

A bridge is a restorative structure that is used to replace missing teeth. Bridges consist of one or more false teeth that are held in place by crowns that are attached to the surrounding teeth. Dr. Hendrix typically makes bridges with a gold alloy substructure or metal free (all ceramic). Bridges are the more traditional fixed (non-removable) option to replacing missing teeth, while implants are gaining in popularity.

Often, people think of bridges as falling under two main categories, "fixed" and "removable." Fixed bridges are cemented in place and cannot be taken out, these are typically referred to as "bridges." Removable bridges are not permanently attached and can be removed at night or for cleaning purposes, these are typically referred to as "Partial Dentures."

Bridges can dramatically improve the appearance of your smile by replacing missing teeth. The materials used to create the bridge are made to match the color of your natural teeth, while providing strong structural support.

Procedure

The teeth next to the empty space will be reduced in order to receive the crown portion of the bridge. The fact that the teeth on either side of the space must be crowned may be an advantage of a bridge over an implant if the teeth next to the space are undermined and would benefit from a crown. Conversely, if the teeth adjacent to the space are not damaged a bridge would require the otherwise unneeded removal of healthy tooth structure. Following Dr. Hendrix's philosophy of conservative, minimally invasive dentistry, in the latter case an implant would be highly recommended.

After the teeth are reduced in preparation of the bridge an impression will be taken of the whole area (the teeth next to the missing area and opposing it). This impression is then sent to a lab, and a bridge is custom-designed to fit the area. Just as with the placement of a crown, a temporary bridge will be put in place to protect your teeth and gum while the restoration is being constructed.

We may provide you with a "flipper" in place of a temporary bridge. A flipper is a temporary false tooth that latches onto a metal wire on the adjacent teeth.