What are bridges?
Dental bridges are a permanent way to fill the gap left by one or more missing teeth. They consist of a false tooth positioned between two crowns, which then fit over the teeth that sit either side of a gap (the abutment teeth). They are usually made from a combination of porcelain and precious metals, blending strength and aesthetics.
As well as being fixed over natural teeth, they can also be supported by dental implants.
Why have a bridge?
- An enhanced smile
- Improved speaking and eating
- Restored facial shape
- A better ‘bite’
- Existing teeth are kept in place
What does the treatment involve?
During the first appointment, the abutment teeth are prepared by reducing their size to make room for the crowns. Impressions of the teeth are then taken so a tailor-made bridge can be designed. A temporary bridge is put in place to protect the exposed teeth while the new one is being made.
During the second visit, the new bridge is checked and adjusted to ensure it fits perfectly before being fixed in place with dental cement.
Looking after bridges
Good oral hygiene is important to keep natural teeth healthy especially as the teeth supporting the bridge need to provide a solid foundation. It is vital to clean under the false tooth daily with a special floss. If you keep this up, and come and see us regularly, you can expect a fixed bridge to last for many years.
If your bridge is supported by implants, you may need to have a hygienist to regularly assess the condition of the gum as implants are vulnerable to periodontal issues.