Dental bridges are most often used when a patient is missing one or more teeth. In such cases, a bridge is used to literally “bridge the gap” between those missing teeth.
The procedure for preparing a bridge is similar to preparing a crown. On the adjacent sides of the missing teeth, a crown is made, and a prosthetic tooth spans the space between the teeth.
Needles to say, missing teeth are very unsightly! You may even look older, or less healthy to some. And they can cause further problems with surrounding teeth.
We have performed several types of bridge repairs over the years. Small to medium chips in the porcelain, especially on front teeth, can be repaired by bonding with composite resin or porcelain veneers (See photo). If the metal framework is showing this can also be repaired with a metal coping and porcelain baked to the metal coping. This restoration is then bonded to the chipped area.
» More difficult repairs are when one side of the bridge is loose. Many times that side has decayed and cannot be re-cemented. If the bridge is removed within a couple weeks of loosening, there is a chance the re-cementation will work. If a bridge is cracked, a new one must be made with a stronger framework and also stronger metal.
» Zirconia bridges are virtually indestructible, but most of the time the zirconia is layered with porcelain for esthetics and it is the layer of porcelain that chips. Repairs on zirconia are difficult because they cannot be etched or sandblasted for retention of repairs. Sometimes the remaining porcelain can be adhered to the repair.
» Remember not everything can be repaired and most of the time the repairs have a limited lifespan.
Dr. Fremont has been providing affordable and exceptional dentistry in Pacific Beach La Jolla Clairemont and San Diego for over 30 years.