One of the oldest kinds of prosthetics in dentistry is the bridge. These fused crowns are used to repair multiple teeth at once, and when they’re taken care of, they may last for over a decade. At All Coast Dental in Pacific Beach, we treat patients with all sorts of oral conditions, and will help patients with damaged teeth to determine which repairs suit them best, so this week, we’re looking at bridges more closely.
Crowns are the parts of our teeth that are visible above the gum line. When they are severely damaged, it may be necessary to shave them down into cylindrical abutments, which artificially-milled dental crowns may be cemented over. This sort of procedure may follow root canal therapy for a single crown, but if mechanical damage or decay is widespread enough for multiple teeth in a row to be missing or to need new crowns, a bridge may be used.
As with the placement of a single crown, placing a bridge will take a few visits to the dental office. At the first visit, the crowns will be made into abutments and an impression will be made of the patient’s mouth. The patient will be given a temporary bridge to wear while the permanent one is milled in a dental laboratory. Upon their return visit, the permanent bridge will be cemented in. Bridges are able to support suspended crowns in between the ones resting on natural tooth abutments, so they’re a popular choice when a patient has long been missing a tooth or needs one extracted due to a broken root. Cleaning under a bridge takes some extra care, and in cases where the supporting teeth don’t require much work, a patient may prefer a removable partial denture. But when three crowns in a row are damaged and need to be replaced, the bridge remains a reliable option for long-term cosmetic and functional restoration.
Drs. Julie and Joseph Boulos operate All Coast Dental at 2180 Garnet Ave, Suite 1-K, Pacific Beach, California, 92109. To schedule an appointment, call 858-270-4904 or visit All Coast Dental and fill out a contact sheet.