Dental bridges are false teeth, which are anchored onto neighbouring teeth in order to replace one or more missing teeth. The false tooth (the ‘pontic’), made from gold, alloys or porcelain, is fused in between two crowns that act as anchors; attaching to the teeth either side of the false tooth to bridge them together. There are three main types of dental bridges:
- Traditional fixed bridge – This is the most commonly used type of bridge and consists of a pontic fused between two porcelain crowns that are anchored on neighbouring teeth or implants. The pontic is usually made of either porcelain fused to metal or ceramics. These are fixed and cannot be removed
- Resin-bonded bridges or Maryland-bonded bridges – These are chosen when the gap to be filled is in between the front teeth, or when the teeth on either side of the missing tooth are strong and healthy without large fillings. The false tooth is made of plastic and is fused to metal bands that are bonded to the adjacent teeth using resin that is hidden from view
- Cantilever bridges – These are opted for in areas such as the front teeth that are susceptible to lower stress. Cantilever bridges are used when there are teeth present on only one side of the space, where the false tooth is anchored to one or more adjacent teeth on one side
When Are Dental Bridges Needed?
Bridges are recommended when there are one or more teeth missing. It is important to replace missing teeth for many reasons including;
- Improving your appearance
- Reducing added strain on the teeth either side of the missing tooth
- Preventing the neighbouring teeth from leaning into the resulting gap and altering the bite
- Preventing gum disease and tooth decay due to accumulation of food in the gap
How Are Dental Bridges Fitted?
First appointment: The dentist will firstly numb the area with a mild anaesthetic. The teeth on either side of the space are prepared by trimming away a small area in order to accommodate the new crown over them. The dentist then uses dental putty to make an impression of the teeth, which will be used to make the bridge and crown in the laboratory. A temporary bridge is fitted in to protect the exposed gums and teeth. A Vita shade guide may be used to determine the right shade for the dental bridge, by selecting a shade that resembles natural colour variations in your teeth, as well as suits your complexion, hair colour, the colour of your natural teeth and even your eye colour. Second appointment: The temporary bridge is removed and the custom-made bridge is fitted, checked for its fit and bite, and adjusted accordingly. It is then cemented into place Multiple visits are often required to check and adjust the fit. In case of permanent or fixed bridges, the bridge is temporarily cemented for a couple of weeks and checked for its fit. It is permanently cemented only after several weeks.
How Long Do Dental Bridges Last?
Dental bridges can last 10-15 years, provided that you maintain good dental hygiene and eating habits.
How To Take Care Of Your Dental Bridges
- Practice good dental hygiene: Clean the dental bridge and under the false tooth every day to prevent tooth decay, bad breath and gum disease. It is important to keep the remaining teeth healthy, as these serve as the foundation for the dental bridge
- Brushing and flossing: Brush twice and floss daily. A bridge floss threader is best for flossing, and should be done using both hands, moving the floss back and forth under the bridge. The bridge must be flossed completely, from one end to the other
- Diet and eating habits: Eat soft foods or food cut into small pieces until you get used to the dental bridge. Eat a balanced and nutritious diet for good general and dental health.
What Are The Advantages Of Dental Bridges?
Dental Bridges look natural and improve your appearance, bite issues and speech problems which occur as a result of missing teeth. It is a relatively fast procedure, generally requiring only two appointments with the dentist, and will last for 10-15 years, providing you maintain good dental hygiene.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Dental Bridges?
For a few weeks after the procedure your teeth will be mildly sensitive to extreme temperatures, however this is only temporary. It’s also important to keep your dental hygiene to a good standard as your teeth and gums will be more vulnerable to infection through accumulation of bacteria due to food acids.
Arrange An Appointment
To arrange an appointment with us, or if you have questions and want to find out more, please feel free to contact the practice. Talk to a dentist
Sometimes teeth are lost. The adjacent teeth are prepared. A Bridge is made which exactly matches the space and is fitted across the gap.
Full porcelain bridges
A porelain bonded metal bridge is a good solution for a missing tooth. However, under some lighting conditions, the metal in the bridge can make the teeth look dull. An alternative is for the bridge to be made of solid porcelain. This will give a more natural look.
Adhesive Bridge (Metal 1-Wing)
An adhesive bridge is non destructive. The Bridge is prepared and stuck to the inside of the adjacent tooth
Adhesive Bridge (Metal 2-Wing)
An adhesive bridge is non destructive. The Bridge is prepared and stuck to the inside of the adjacent teeth