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What is a bridge and how is it supported by natural teeth?
Just think of a bridge running across a river. Either end you have supports to provide the bridge stability. Similarly, when you have a gap in your mouth, teeth either side can be prepared to hold the bridge into position.
Case example 1:
The pictures below show a case in which 4 teeth are acting as a support for the lower set of teeth.
Gaps are shown when the patient smiles. Special gold copings (crowns) were made to parallel the teeth so that the bridge could slot over them with ease.
A 10-teeth bridge in high quality porcelain was constructed
This is the underside of the bridge. You can see 4 housings which will slot over the gold teeth.
The bridge has been permanently fixed in over the 4 teeth.
The lower bridge in position. You can see the tongue.
Teeth missing in the middle
The bridge on a stone model
Bridge permanently fixed into position
The photo has been taken behind the bridge (you can see the inside of the lower lip). The bridge is permanently fixed with strong glue to the adjacent teeth by the metal wings.
Case example 2:
The pictures below show a case in which the teeth either side of the gap supported a "sticky" bridge (known to dentists as a "Maryland bridge"). The adjacent teeth were not shaved down or damaged and the bridge has held on strongly for many years. The teeth supporting the bridge need to be sand blasted to aid the retention of the bridge.
Lower arch and lower lip are shown. There are gaps in the middle and behind the teeth.