A dental bridge can enable you to eat what you want and look better too. Dental bridges literally bridge the gap created by one or more missing teeth, A bridge is made up of two crowns one on each tooth on either side of the gap with a false tooth in-between.
- Restore your smile
- Restore the ability to properly chew and speak
- Maintain the shape of your face
- Distribute the forces in your bite properly by replacing missing teeth
- Prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position
- Bridges can reduce your risk of gum disease and help correct bite issues. If taken care of, bridges can last as many as many ten years or more.
A bridge is a false tooth which is fused between two crowns to fill in the area left by a missing tooth. The two crowns hold the bridge in place and are attached onto your teeth on each side of the false tooth. This is what is known as a fixed bridge. A fixed bridge can be used to replace one or more missing teeth. Fixed bridges cannot be taken out of your mouth.
1. Why should I replace missing teeth?
Your appearance is one reason. Another is that the gap left by a missing tooth can mean more strain is put on the teeth at either side. A gap can also mean your ‘bite’ is affected, because the teeth next to the space can lean into the gap and change the way the upper and lower teeth bite together. This can then lead to food getting packed into the gap, which causes tooth decay and gum disease.
2. What Types of Dental Bridges Are Available?
There are three main types of dental bridges:
Traditional bridges involve creating a crown for the tooth or implant on either side of the missing tooth, with a pontic in between. Traditional bridges are the most common type of bridge and are made of either porcelain fused to metal or ceramics.
Cantilever bridges are used when there are adjacent teeth on only one side of the missing tooth or teeth. This is not very common anymore and is not recommended in the back of the mouth where it can put too much force on other teeth and damage them.
Maryland bonded bridges (also called a resin-bonded bridge or a Maryland bridge) are made of porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, or plastic teeth and gums supported by a metal or porcelain framework. Metal or porcelain wings on each side of the bridge are bonded to your existing teeth.
3. What is the process for getting a dental bridge?
During the first visit for getting a dental bridge, the abutment teeth are prepared. Preparation involves recontouring these teeth by removing a portion of enamel to allow room for a crown to be placed over them. Next, impressions of the teeth are made, which serve as a model from which the bridge, pontic, and crowns will be made by a dental lab. Your dentist will make a temporary bridge to wear to protect the exposed teeth and gums while the bridge is being made.
During the second visit, your temporary bridge will be removed and the new porcelain or metal bridge will be checked and adjusted, as necessary, to achieve a proper fit. Multiple visits may be required to check the fit of the metal framework and bite. This is dependent on each individual’s case. If the dental bridge is a fixed bridge, your dentist may temporarily cement it in place for a couple of weeks to make sure it is fitting properly. After a couple weeks, the bridge is cemented into place.
4. Can i have a bridge fitted straight after having a tooth removed?
It can take up to 6 months for your gums to heal properly after an extraction. This means that you may need to have a temporary denture before the bridge is fitted.
5. Can i always have a bridge to replace missing teeth?
You can have a bridge only if you have enough strong teeth with good bone support. Your dental team will help you decide which is the best way of replacing missing teeth.
6. What are bridges made of?
Bridges are usually made of porcelain bonded to precious metal. Sometimes other non-precious metals are used in the base for strength. There are also new bridges made entirely of a special type of strong porcelain.
7. What will a bridge cost?
The cost will vary depending on the size and type of bridge you need. Always get a written estimate and treatment plan before starting any dental treatment. Although a bridge may seem expensive it should last many years.
8. How do i look after my bridge?
You need to clean your bridge every day, to prevent problems such as bad breath and gum disease. You also have to clean under the false tooth every day. Your dentist or hygienist will show you how to use a bridge needle or special floss, as a normal toothbrush cannot reach.
9. Can I have teeth which attach to the jawbone?
Yes, by having implants. The success of this technique means you may be able to replace missing teeth without crowning other teeth. For more information please book a free consultation with one of our dentist.
Remember that it is as important to care for your remaining teeth as it is to replace the missing ones.