A bonded bridge can be used to replace one missing tooth, when the teeth on either side of the space are strong and in perfect virgin state, and when a dental implant is not indicated.
A bonded bridge consists of a false porcelain 'tooth' (Pontic) held in place with a porcelain or metal 'wing' which is glued to the support tooth. These bridges are most often used for replacing missing incisor teeth, but can occasionally be used to replace a missing molar or premolar tooth as well.
Case 1 - Zirconia Frame Bridge
This teenage girl was born without her right lateral incisor. She had been wearing a removable partial denture for this missing tooth but was now seeking a more permanent and fixed alternative.
A favourable bite
She was too young to consider a dental implant and the bite of her lower incisor and canine teeth allowed for a bonded style of bridge to be used. She liked the idea of no longer wearing a removable denture.
Before fitting - Porcelain 'Wing'
The undersurface of her right canine tooth was lightly adjusted and this zirconia-framed, porcelain bridge was made. The white 'wing' of zirconia is the part that will attach the bridge to the supporting tooth.
The porcelain bridge was bonded to place with a dental adhesive, thus completing the case.
After Treatment Smile
The bridge blended seamlessly into her smile, completing a very nice cosmetic result. The patient found it much easier to speak with the little bridge compared to the previous denture, and she was no longer concerned about the tooth 'dropping out" unexpectedly !
Case 2 - Metal Frame Bridge
This man had lost his left canine tooth, but his adjacent teeth were in perfect condition, so a conventional bridge was not considered. An implant was not possible without bone grafting and he did not want this. He thus elected to have a metal framed bonded bridge for greater strength.
A metal bonded bridge uses a thin, but very strong metal framework to attach to the support tooth. The metal ensures a very accurate fit, and possibly greater longevity than zirconia.
With the bridge in place, the overall cosmetic outcome is very good, though some faint 'greying' can be seen in the support tooth due to the metal framework. Zirconia bridges do not create this greying effect, but they may not last quite as long as the metal bridges do.