There are several ways to replace missing teeth
What is a Dental Bridge?
Is a fixed appliance used to replace missing teeth. A bridge is made up of two or more dental crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap. These two or more anchoring teeth are called abutment teeth, with one or more false teeth in between. The false tooth or teeth are known as pontics and can be made from different materials; gold, alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials. It is important to note that dental bridges are supported by natural teeth or implants.
What are the benefits of a Dental Bridge?
There many benefits of having a bridge, these include:
- Restoring the ability to properly chew and speak
- Helping to restore your smile and maintaining the shape of your face
- Enabling the force used during biting to be distributed properly by replacing the missing tooth or teeth.
- Ensuring that the remaining teeth are prevented from drifting out of position.
- Helps to reduce the amount of dental strain placed on the surrounding teeth
Like dentures and implants, dental bridges replace missing teeth and give you a beautiful, intact smile. They typically consist of an artificial tooth fused between two crowns, bridging a gap created by tooth loss. Because they are fixed in place and can only be removed by your dentist, there is little danger of the bridge being accidentally dislodged.
Conventional bridge, also known as a traditional bridge
Sometimes teeth are lost for a host of different reasons decay and accidents are the most common. Standard bridges are fixed in position by the teeth surrounding the empty socket. After these teeth are shaped and covered with crowns, the bridge is secured in place between them. The process involves the adjacent teeth being prepared first then a bridge is made which exactly matches the space and is fitted across the gap. The material used can be made from tooth coloured material for an attractive appearance. Some patients prefer a gold or metal option as they feel that they are likely to last longer.
An adhesive bridge is non-destructive. A bridge is prepared and ‘stuck’ to the inside of the adjacent tooth. These bridges are held in position by a metal ‘wing’ that is attached to the prosthetic tooth and fixed onto an adjacent tooth using a strong adhesive. This process is usually used to replace missing front teeth.
An implant-retained bridge is supported by implants instead of natural teeth. A single implant is usually placed in the jawbone for each absent tooth before the crowns are connected to form one piece.
How are bridges applied?
Bridge application requires two visits. During the first appointment, the teeth on either side of the gap are contoured in preparation for crowns. Your dentist will then take impressions of your teeth to use as a model for making the crowns, replacement tooth, and bridge.
In the interim, you will be fitted with a temporary bridge to protect your exposed teeth and gums while your bridge is being made by the dental laboratory. When your new bridge arrives from the laboratory, we will schedule another appointment for you to have it fitted. Your dentist may apply a temporary adhesive at first to confirm that the appliance fits properly, and then cement in permanently in place at a third and final visit.
With proper care and good oral hygiene practices, dental bridges will last up to 15 years. Like any fixed dental appliance, care must be taken to clean the area beneath and around the bridge to prevent decay from setting in. We will provide you with advice, support and instructions on how to take care of your new bridge so that the neighbouring teeth remain healthy along with the rest of your smile.
If you are interested in learning more about dental bridges as a comfortable and affordable restoration for missing teeth, contact the experienced team at Victoria Road Dental Clinic.