A dental bridge is an artificial tooth supported by at least two crowns on either side of it. The crowns and the artificial tooth, called a pontic, are made of porcelain that is fused to metal. Dr. Rafaat matches the color of the crowns and pontic to your surrounding teeth for a natural appearance.
You need a dental bridge if you have lost a tooth. Dental bridges, which are typically covered by dental insurance, serve several purposes, such as:
Dr. Rafaat X-rays the teeth on either side of a missing tooth to ensure those teeth, called abutment teeth, can support crowns. He then files down the abutment teeth on either side of the empty space, makes impressions of them, and sends them to a dental lab. Crowns and a pontic, or artificial tooth, are manufactured in the lab. When the crowns are ready, Dr. Rafaat places them on what’s left of the healthy abutment teeth.
Before you leave the office, temporary crowns will be attached to your teeth to protect them until the permanent crowns are ready. If more than one tooth is missing, more crowns will be needed to bridge the gap between the abutment teeth; Dr. Rafaat assesses the correct number of crowns necessary.
At the second visit, Dr. Rafaat inserts the new bridge, consisting of a crown or crowns on either side of the artificial tooth or teeth. He attaches the crowns to your teeth with a resin that hardens when he uses a special light that bonds the adhesive quickly.
Crowns and bridgework require the same care as your other teeth. Be sure to brush and floss between all of your teeth every day to reduce plaque buildup, and maintain a regular schedule of dental appointments.