Dental Bridges: What’s That Word Mean?

dentalbridgeYou will likely find as you sift through literature regarding dental prosthetics that new words pop up quite commonly. Just when you think you’re starting to understand how a device works, a brand new term or phrase may jump out and cause you to stop what you’re doing to find a definition. If you’re thinking about completing your smile with a dental bridge, we are several steps ahead of you. You see, we are quite familiar with the terms that you need to know. We invite you to use to the following as a guide as you learn more about bridges, so you can more easily determine whether this is the prosthetic best for your smile goals:

Question #1: Why Is It Called A Bridge?

Understanding why it’s called a dental bridge requires just a bit of visualization. Imagine three or more connected artificial teeth – this is a bridge. On each end of this bridge is a dental crown that will sit permanently over one of your natural teeth. The remaining artificial teeth situated between the end crowns will “bridge the gap” from one side of your smile opening to the other.

Question #2: What Is A Pontic?

A pontic is an artificial tooth that fills the space in your smile – it’s not a dental crown (which rests on either end of the bridge). We will not cement these prosthetics over anything – they will remain suspended against your gum tissue to complete your smile.

Question #3: Do Bridges Use Regular Dental Crowns?

Yes, a crown is a crown. If you are already familiar with the type of crown we place over your tooth if it becomes severely damaged, you’re on the right track. It’s simply a hollow, artificial tooth that we will use support the dental bridge. Rest assured, we will color-match the crowns and pontics to your remaining smile.

Question #4: What’s “Fixed Prosthetic” Mean?

“Fixed” means that you won’t remove the bridge from your mouth during the day because it will remain in place. We will cement the bridge over your teeth, so it will become a non-removable device that completes your smile.


James Stewart, DDS, and our compassionate staff proudly serve patients of all ages from Livonia, Farmington Hills, Plymouth, Northville, Dearborn Heights, Garden City, and all surrounding communities. To schedule a consultation, call our office today at (734) 425-4400.