If you’re missing one or more teeth then a dental bridge may be recommended as a restorative treatment. A bridge literally spans the gap left by a missing tooth or teeth. It’s made up of two crowns (one for each tooth at either end of the gap which are called abutment teeth) and a false tooth (pontic) or teeth fitted in between.
Benefits of a dental bridge
- Restores your smile
- Maintains the shape of your face
- Prevents neighbouring teeth from drifting out of position
- Restores the ability to chew and speak properly
- Distributes the bite force equally be replacing missing teeth
Is is always necessary to replace missing teeth?
In a word, yes. Missing teeth don’t just look unsightly but also put more strain on teeth either side of the gap. Because neighbouring teeth start to move towards the gap, it can also cause the teeth to become misaligned, which in turn affects the bite. This too can make it harder to clean the teeth and as a result food particles may get trapped, which if left behind can cause gum disease and possible tooth loss further down the line.
Types of bridge
There are three main types of bridge:
Traditional fixed bridge – This is a standard type of bridge which consists of a false tooth joined to two crowns which are secured onto neighbouring teeth or dental implants. It’s usually made from porcelain fused to metal or ceramic.
Maryland bonded bridge – This is typically used to fill in a gap in the front teeth or in instances where the adjacent teeth are strong, healthy, and free from fillings. The false tooth is made from plastic and fused to metal wings which are then bonded to your existing teeth with resin.
Cantilever bridge – This is usually used when only one tooth needs replacing and in instances where there are only teeth present on one side of the gap.
What is the procedure for getting a bridge?
During the first visit your abutment teeth will be prepared to make room for the crown. This involves removing a portion of enamel and shaping your teeth so that the crown can fit over them. Impressions are then taken and sent to the dental laboratory to use as a model to make the pontic, bridge, and crown. Meanwhile you’ll be fitted with a temporary crown to wear.
A second visit will involve removing your temporary bridge and replacing it with a custom made bridge. Your dentist will check the fit and bite and make any necessary adjustments before cementing it firmly in place. Several visits may be required to check and adjust the fit.
How long does a bridge last?
With good oral hygiene and eating habits, your dental bridge can be expected to last between 10-15 years.
Please note our General Dentistry services are only available in Manchester.