A porcelain bridge is a permanent way to replace missing teeth. A bridge consists of at least two crowns (called “retainer crowns”), one on each side of the empty space, connected by a “pontic”, which replaces the missing tooth.
The teeth that support the bridge are ground down and the bridge is permanently cemented into place. The reduction of these teeth carries with it the risk of damaging the nerve, which could necessitate a root canal procedure on one or both of these teeth. Keeping bridges clean presents a challenge: since bridge units are all inter-connected, flossing between them is impossible and cleaning beneath them tedious and time-consuming. As a result, bridges often develop recurrent decay and gum problems and need eventual replacement or removal of the supporting teeth.
A bridge takes two visits to complete. The first involves preparation of the teeth that will serve as supports for the bridge. They are each reduced in size to make room for the retainer crowns, an impression is taken so the laboratory can fabricate a bridge, and a temporary bridge is placed until the final bridge is ready. The lab fabricates your bridge to look and feel like natural teeth and blend seamlessly with your dentition. At the second visit, the temporary bridge is removed and the permanent bridge is cemented in place.