When you have a tooth extracted, it gives you a gap in you smile, and also hinders your ability to chew. There are a couple of ways to replace the missing tooth. The cheapest way is with a partial denture, which is an appliance that fills in the missing tooth, by holding on to the teeth that remain. This option isn’t as practical if you are only missing one tooth, but rather multiple teeth. It would be removable, and you would have to take it out each day to clean properly. Another way of replacing a missing tooth is with a dental implant. An implant is a more permanent solution and has the benefit of helping you to retain bone, and not suffer bone loss from the absence of the stimulation from the presence of a tooth root in the jawbone. But it can also a more expensive way to the possible way to replace the missing tooth. In this post, I want to mainly talk about tooth replacement with a fixed bridge.
What a bridge does, is to replace the missing tooth, by creating a crown for the teeth on either side of the missing tooth, and anchoring a “pontic” crown in between, filling in the gap. Basically, it is a triple or quadruple crown. This will work well and feels solid in the mouth. The negative is, the adjacent teeth have to be shaved down to fit them under a crown. However, often times the adjacent teeth may be damaged already, and are in the need of crowning to save them. In this context, a dental bridge would be a more economical solution.
Bridges can be made of 3 types of materials. The thee materials that are used in the making of crowns.
A PFM bridge is a metal structure that caps the remaining teeth. After making the metal frame, it is overlaid by fusing porcelain over the top. It will look exactly like however many teeth are in the bridge. It will be strong and is ideal for molars.
A e.max, all porcelain bridge can be used to replace a missing front or bicuspid tooth. It is aesthetic, and light passes through it, like a real tooth. But it is not strong enough to be used on molars, as it could fracture.
The best bridges and crowns are made of solid zirconia. This material is very strong, wont chip, and has a nice aesthetic value. It is the best option to replace molars.