Dental bridges are used to replace one or more missing teeth for a variety of reasons. It is a permanent restorative measure that offers support and stability through anchorage to dental implants or neighbouring teeth. As an alternative to metal restorations it is now possible to have all-ceramic bridges that are strong, durable and aesthetically pleasing.
A bridge consists of a false tooth (also known as a pontic) which can be made from a number of materials, and two crowns that are attached to the false tooth to keep it in place.
Missing teeth can affect appearance and speech, as well as increasing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Replacing the teeth reduces strain on the adjacent teeth, prevents the shape of the bite from altering and improves overall confidence.
During the appointments
- A mild anaesthetic is used
- A small area is trimmed away from the teeth on either side of the gap to accommodate the bridge
- Dental putty is used to create an impression of the tooth, which is sent to a laboratory for the bridge to be made.
- In the meantime, the exposed teeth and gums are protected with a temporary bridge.
- The custom-made bridge is fitted at the second appointment and adjustments are made where necessary before it is fixed in place.
Bridges can last for up to 15 years if maintained with a correct oral hygiene routine. This includes cleaning the bridge and false tooth daily and caring for the remaining teeth. Soft foods may need to be eaten until the mouth has become accustomed to the bridge.