When a tooth is missing, a three-unit bridge can be a good choice for replacing it. A conventional three-unit bridge is often used to replace missing teeth when teeth are available on both sides of the space to support the bridge.
There are three parts to a three-unit bridge. The middle part, called the pontic, replaces the missing teeth. On either side, the pontic is attached to abutments. These abutments are hollow, tooth-shaped crowns that fit over the neighboring teeth to hold the bridge in place.
Placing a Three-Unit Bridge
A three-unit bridge is custom made for you in a dental laboratory, so it may take two or more appointments to complete your bridge. On your first visit, we numb the area to keep you comfortable. Depending on the situation, we may also use a rubber dam to protect your mouth and throat while we work.
We use the hand piece to remove any decay and shape the teeth that will support the bridge. Then we take an impression of your teeth. A model of your mouth is made from this impression, and then the lab uses the model to create a bridge that precisely fits your teeth and bite. In the meantime, we often place a temporary bridge.
On your next visit, we remove the temporary bridge and begin a series of steps to confirm the fit of your new bridge. We try in the final bridge and check the fit and your bite. When everything is right, we cement or bond the bridge in place.
The Benefits of a Three-Unit Bridge
Three-unit bridges have several advantages:
When you need to replace a missing tooth, a three-unit bridge can be a functional, good looking solution.