A dental bridge is a device used to replace one or more missing teeth. It is cemented in place and spans the distance from one abutment tooth to another. Instead of replacing a single tooth, a bridge replaces an adjacent area and may be used for cosmetic enhancement or to correct problems such as:
- Cannot chew food normally due to space caused by missing teeth
- Over-eruption of surrounding teeth
- Shift in bite pattern due to missing teeth
- Crossbites (when upper and lower teeth don’t meet correctly)
There are four primary types of dental bridges, each with its benefits:
Fixed Partial Denture (FPD)
This bridge is attached to the teeth on both sides of the missing tooth. While this type of bridge can be difficult to maintain, they are less noticeable than a removable bridge and help prevent the shifting of surrounding teeth during chewing.
A removable bridge looks just like a regular set of false teeth that snaps into place over your teeth. In some cases, these bridges can be removed for cleaning or any other reason, but if that’s not possible, this option could result in damage to the abutment teeth as well as being unsightly.
Removable Partial Denture (RPD)
Only the front portion is attached to natural teeth in this type of bridge. The false teeth can be taken out for cleaning or other reasons, while the remaining portion remains attached to your jaw. This type of bridge is popular because they are easy to maintain and doesn’t require long-term use of an adhesive.
This bridge can be either fixed or removable, depending on its design. Unlike traditional bridges that are cemented into place, this bridge relies on dental implants to support it. This provides several advantages, including an improved appearance and the potential for increased chewing function.