The dentist will start by sedating the area in question. If the bridge is to be attached to implants, the treatment will proceed as described for implants. This treatment does not require grinding the adjacent teeth, which is preferable if these teeth are strong and healthy.
If the bridge is to be attached to existing teeth, these will now be grinded into a conic shape in order to make room for the artificial teeth. The dentist will take an impression of all the teeth and send it to the dental technician, who will make the final bridge and send it back to the dentist.
Selecting the right colour
Often, the surface of the teeth is made of ceramic or porcelain. It can also be made of gold or other metals. The dentist has small porcelain bits in a wide range of colours, which he uses to find the perfect colour for the artificial teeth. The teeth on the bridge may need different colours to blend in with the adjacent teeth in both ends.
Attaching the bridge
After having taken the impressions, the dentist will attach a temporary bridge, which enables the patient to chew and eat. This bridge is not firmly fastened as it is supposed to come off easily, when the permanent bridge is ready.
When the dental technician has sent the permanent bridge to the dentist, it is time for the final treatment. The dentist will make sure that the bridge fits tightly to the anchor teeth before he or she fasten the bridge with cement. It may be necessary to grind the teeth to make a perfect bite.
Bridges are made from different materials and in wide range of dental colours. Which is the better material depends on which teeth the bridge will replace. Moreover, different dentists prefer different material.
Metal / ceramic
Some bridges consist of a metal core and enamel-like ceramic on the outer side. They can be used to replace any teeth. The metal core consists of titan, gold or a chrome/cobolt alloy, and serves to strengthen the teeth. The ceramic layer serves to give the teeth a more natural appereance.
Once, it was common to make bridges from metal only. Now, they will only be used in the back of the mouth, where a strong chewing surface is necessary. Even though pure metal bridges are the most solid solution, most people dislike having a row of metal teeth in their mouth. This is partly due to an increased risk of an allergic reaction, but mostly due to cosmetic reasons.
Zirconium is a new ceramic material. It is almost as strong as the metals, but the risk of allergies is smaller. Zirconium is used in the core of the teeth with a layer of porcelain on the outer side to gain the most natural appearance. These materials are sold under brand names such as Procera AllCeram, Denzir, Empress and Vita-InCeram.