What is a dental bridge?
A dental is bridge is a dental restoration used to replace missing teeth. Typically a bridge utilises the teeth adjacent to support “a false” tooth. However with advancements in technology a bridge can also supported by using dental implants adjacent to a gap.
What are they made from?
Dental bridges are usually made from a porcelain (tooth-coloured) outer shell with an inner metal core for strength.
Why would I need a bridge?
A bridge is used to replace missing teeth. It is a “fixed” solution for replacing a missing tooth unlike a denture which is removable. A bridge may help you eat with more confidence and improve your smile. A bridge can also prevent movement of the adjacent teeth which could result in gum problems and premature loss of these teeth.
Is a bridge always possible?
Unfortunately a bridge is not always possible. This may be due the size of the gap that needs to be filled and the condition of your remaining teeth. However it may still be possible to have a bridge supported by dental implants. This is something that can be discussed with your dentist.
What types of bridges are there?
There are usually 2 types of bridges.
Fixed bridges – A “false tooth” is anchored to crowns which are put on teeth either side of a missing tooth. The bridge is securely fixed but this option does mean that adjacent teeth may need to be trimmed down.
Adhesive bridges – A “false tooth” is attached to a metal wing which is glued with strong glue to the adjacent teeth. This option involves very little trimming of teeth if any and is usually done without local anaesthetic.
What is the procedure for having a bridge fitted?
After the initial consultation usually 2 visits are required. The first visit involves preparing the teeth and the taking of impressions. Temporary crowns may need to be fitted at this appointment. The impressions are then sent to a UK laboratory and your crown is manufactured by a highly skilled technician. The second visit involves cementing of the bridge.
How long will a bridge last?
Much depends on the individual as to how long a dental bridge will last. Providing that good care is taken of them and a good oral health regime is followed, a bridge should last at least five years and many people report them lasting between ten and fifteen years.
How do I look after them?
Once your bridge has been fitted, it is important to keep up a good oral health care regime by regular brushing and flossing. Your hygienist and dentist can advise the best way to do this with a bridge. By doing this, you should be able to prolong the life of your bridge.