What Is A Dental Bridge?

Bridge is the English translation of the word bridge. ” A dental bridge is a set of dental crowns joined together , and supposed to replace a missing tooth between two teeth” , explains the specialist. 

Its role is therefore to replace a missing tooth in a fixed manner. 

We call “bridge abutments” the two teeth adjacent to the missing tooth, and “bridge intermediate” the missing tooth.

There are two types of dental bridges:

Dento-supported bridges: the two abutments of the bridge are real teeth still present in the mouth, which will have to be cut and sometimes devitalized to fix the bridge there;

Implant-supported bridges: the two abutments of the bridge are dental implants previously integrated into the bone.

“A bridge can only be completely dento-supported or completely implant-supported: you absolutely must not mix the two methods and have an abutment which is a natural tooth and a second abutment which is a dental implant”,  insists Dr Bettach. .

In which cases?

The bridge, with the dental implant , are solutions that exist to replace a missing tooth. However, since the abutment teeth will be cut and sometimes devitalized, the choice of the bridge is not a first-line choice. It is for example not advisable if the two teeth adjacent to the missing tooth are healthy and in good condition.

“ Today, our scientific and legal authorities recommend that we first offer a dental implant if possible, rather than a bridge” , explains Raphael Bettach.

If the placement of an implant is contraindicated , and / or the two abutment teeth are already very damaged, the choice of the bridge may be justified.

How is the pose going?

The steps necessary for the placement of a dental bridge depend on several factors, but the classic scheme is as follows:

During the first appointment , the practitioner first treats and cleans the edentulous area. Then, if necessary , he devitalizes the roots of the adjacent teeth supporting the bridge, and then reconstructs the devitalized teeth. The abutment teeth are then “cut” so that they can receive the bridge. A bridge or two provisional crowns are finally placed on the two abutments, to protect the two abutment teeth of the bridge;

The second step consists in taking the physical or even optical impression of this area, which will be used by the prosthetist to make the custom-made bridge;

Once the bridge has been made – usually a week later – the last, very quick step is to place the bridge in the office . If the bridge needs retouching or some adjustments, the dentist will take care of it and if it fits perfectly, he can then glue it in the mouth.

Sometimes things turn out to be more complicated, and a step is added to them. ” If there is not enough grip on the two pillars of the bridge for example, we will have to make one or more” false stumps “, which have the shape of small posts, called inlay-cores ” , specifies the specialist. .

Lifespan of a dental bridge

The average duration of a bridge is between 7 and 15 years. ” But if the roots are good and there are no infectious or mechanical problems, it can happen that a bridge can last more than twenty years” , adds Dr Bettach.

Tariff and reimbursement

The price of a bridge depends on several parameters: the material used for the crown, the practitioner , the region where he exercises , the loads related to his practice , etc.

But since January 1, 2020, Social Security has set up a framework for dental care applicable to certain prostheses, called zero RAC ( Remainder at zero charge ). This zero RAC may concern certain bridges depending on the location of the tooth being treated, the type of tooth to be treated and the materials used. It allows the patient to have nothing to pay for his bridge.

Other types of bridges will be affected by a so-called moderate ABR, the patient will then have to contribute to the costs incurred for its realization and its installation.

“Finally, you should know that Social Security will reimburse a dental bridge only if one of the two teeth adjacent to the missing tooth at least is already damaged “, specifies the surgeon.

Categories: The Dental Clinic

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