A bridge is a dental device that fills a space that a tooth previously occupied. A bridge may be recommended to:
· Prevent shifting of the teeth that can lead to bite problems (occlusion) and/or jaw problems, and periodontal disease.
· Replace missing teeth in the back. This can help improve ability to chew.
· Replace missing teeth in the front. This can improve confidence when smiling, and biting into foods.
There are two main types of bridges, namely:
· A fixed bridge is the most popular and consists of a filler tooth that is fused to two crowns. These crowns fit over the existing teeth on either side of the missing tooth space and hold the bridge in place.
· The “Maryland” bridge can sometimes be used to replace missing front teeth and consists of a filler tooth that is attached to metal bands that are bonded to the tongue side of the teeth on either side of the space.
A bridge can be used to replace one or more teeth. They can be recommended before a tooth is removed, or years later to fill an existing space in the mouth. Bridges are only options for open spaces that have a tooth on each side.