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Dental Bridge       

Dental Bridge or Pontic or Fixed Bridge is a custom-made fake tooth or false teeth, that is permanently placed between your natural healthy teeth or dental implants. Usually two tooth crowns (tooth caps, "caps") are holding it in place that are cemented onto your teeth on each side of the false teeth. These two anchoring teeth are called abutment teeth.

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dental bridge, pontic, fixed bridge, tooth crown, dental crown, fake tooth, false tooth, tooth cap, cap, gold bridge, porcelain bridge, PFM bridge, full metal bridge, implant,

Fixed bridges or pontics cannot be taken out of your mouth compare with removable partial dentures.

The teeth to be crowned (abutment teeth) are prepared in a very specific way (filing down the tooth to make room for crowns and bridge) by a dentist. Records are given to a dental technician to fabricate the dental bridge, which can then be inserted at another dental appointment.

The main advantages of the indirect method of teeth restoration:

  • you do not need to be in the dental chair
  • use of materials that require intense heat to be processed with superior mechanical properties, such as gold and natural looking porcelain
  • produce a restoration of much higher quality

Indication to Restore with a Dental Bridge

  • Re-establish your smile
  • Bring back your ability to properly chew
  • Help improve speech
  • Preserve the shape of your face
  • Distribute the forces in your bite properly by replacing missing teeth
  • Limit remaining teeth from drifting out of position
  • Correct some bite problems
  • Reduce the risk of gum disease


Types of Dental Bridges

  • Traditional bridges (the most common types) contain a crown for the tooth or implant on either side of the missing tooth, with a pontic in between and are made of either porcelain fused to metal (PFM) or ceramics.
  • Cantilever bridges include adjacent teeth on only one side of the missing tooth or teeth.
  • Maryland bonded bridges (also called a resin-bonded bridge or a Maryland bridge) are made of false teeth supported by a metal framework. Metal wings on each side of the bridge are bonded to your existing teeth.

Different Bridge Materials

1. Metal Dental Bridge

The strength of a metal bridge is a tremendous advantage. Bridges made of metal, can consist of different materials:

  • Full gold bridges (FGBs) referred to as a gold bridge. This  includes gold alloy with at least 75% high noble metals: gold, platinum, palladium. It also contains but not limited base metals: silver, copper and tin.
  • Metal alloys bridges (palladium).
  • Stainless steel  or base-metal alloy (nickel or chromium).
  • Full gold bridges are of better quality when they are high in noble content.
  • Metal bridges cause less wearing away of neighboring teeth than other bridges, and also require less filing down the abutment teeth than other crown materials.
  • Metal also tends to last the longer, resisting breaks and chips better than other materials.
  • They are durable and often used for less visible teeth.
  • The obvious drawback to metal bridges is their metallic (non-esthetic) appearance.

2. Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal (PFM)

Porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) bridges consist of a metal core inside and a layer of porcelain outside blended together. PFM bridges look just like normal teeth.


  • Unlike purely metal tooth bridges, shade will be matched to the color of existing teeth.
  • Porcelain provides the most natural final appearance of any other dental bridge material.


  • PFM bridges can be used on both the hidden and prominent teeth.
  • PFM crowns are of better quality when they are high in noble metal inside.
  • They are durable and have enough the strength.
  • Porcelain can wear away at neighboring teeth.
  • More vulnerable to chipping and breaking than metal.
  • Porcelain's translucence sometimes allow the inside metal core to show through.
  • There is more a problem at the crown-gum line, especially if the gums recede over time.

3. Metal-Free Bridge or All Ceramic Restorations

Dental bridges made complete of porcelain or ceramic result in the most natural final appearance.
  • Vitadur Alpha - In-ceram - Procera - Empress - CEREC
  • All-ceramic bridges look just like normal teeth.
  • Perfect for prominent teeth.
  • The safest for patients who might have an allergy to metals.
  • Not quite as resistant to breaking and chipping.
  • Can cause some wearing away of neighboring teeth.

4. Resin Bridges

This type of bridges are the least pricey than other materials, but they are also the most vulnerable to wear, breaks, and chips.

5. Temporary Dental Bridges

Permanent bridges are made in a dental laboratory for a short waiting period. On the day of your visit dentists can make temporary bridges for better appearance until the final bridges are ready.
The temporary bridges are usually constructed with acrylic.

Longevity of Dental Bridge

At a second or third visit, the temporary bridge is removed and the permanent bridge is cemented to your teeth. The new bridge (abutment teeth) could be mildly sensitive to cold temperatures for a few weeks.
Although, if the sensitivity is serious, does not recede, or if the bite feels tight, contact your dentist. Extra adjustments may be necessary.
Depend on the skill of the dentist and his lab technician, permanent dental bridges can actually last up over 10 years or more with proper care.
The average lifetime of a bridge is around 5-7 years. NOTE: many dental insurances in the USA will allow for a bridge to be replaced after only 5 years.
Full gold (high in noble content) bridges last the longest. PFM's, or porcelain-fused-to-metal bridges have a higher chance of problem than a full gold bridge, as they incorporate brittle porcelain.

Proper Care Tools and Best Products

But the most important factor affecting the lifespan of any dental bridge is the continuing oral care performed by the patient. A crowned abutment tooth is not protected from tooth decay or gum disease!
To help fight against bacterial plaque, dentists recommend the ESSENTIAL tools and dental products as INTERDENTAL or BETWEEN TEETH and CROWNS CLEANINGS:


You should continue performing  a great oral hygiene!


Broken Bridge as a Dental Emergency

  • It is possible that the cement could wash out from under the dental bridge, but the bridge stands in place. Under these conditions, germs or bacteria can leak in and cause tooth decay.

If your bridge seems loose, contact your dentist!

Your bridge may also fall out, due to a lack of cement or an improper fit. Clean the bridge inside and your teeth. Put back the dental bridge temporarily using denture adhesives:
or temporary cement:
sold for this purpose at drug store. You may need a new bridge or to re-cement the old one.

Contact your dental office immediately and schedule an appointment for the next day!

Contact Dentist
Looking forward to hearing from you

Aleksandr V. Melekhin, DDS


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