Bridges are fixed replacements for missing teeth which are attached to one or more adjacent teeth.
The supporting teeth are known as abutment teeth and the replacement tooth is known as the pontic. Bridges can be divided into three broad categories as follows:
These involve one or more crowned abutment teeth linked together to include at least one pontic tooth.
Very strong predictable results
Can replace multiple teeth
Easy to clean and maintain
Minimum of two visits
Extensive adjustment to multiple teeth
High risk of fracture to abutment teeth
High risk of tooth dying off long term
Higher costs due to laboratory fees
Wing Retained Bridges
Wing retained bridges have an artificial tooth attached to a metal wing that is cemented to the back of an adjacent tooth.
These are indicated where no preparation is required to supported teeth and often as an immediate solution after extraction.
Minimal adjustment to abutment tooth
Can be fitted at time of extraction of tooth
Can debond and drop off periodically
Metal wing can shine through abutment tooth
Fibre Reinforced Bridges
Fibre reinforced bridges use modern fibre reinforced composites to provide directly built “same day” bridges that are bonded to adjacent teeth.
These are an excellent option if the abutment teeth have been loosened by gum disease as the fibres can be used to strengthen these teeth as well as support the pontic.
Same day result
Lower costs as no laboratory fees
Strengthen loose supporting teeth
Can give a replacement option where no other replacement option would work
Easy to repair in mouth
Composite prone to stain
Cleaning more critical around bonded teeth
Pontic can debond from fibres