A dental bridge is a structure which fills gaps created by missing teeth. Not only will they restore your smile, they can improve your bite by distributing the force evenly and restore your ability to chew and speak properly. They’ll also prevent your remaining teeth from moving out of position.
There are different types of bridgework, but the best method for your individual needs will be decided based on the condition of the teeth adjacent to the gap; the size of the gap that needs filling, and where in the mouth the gap is. Bridges can be supported by your natural teeth adjacent to the gap or by use of dental implants. Some work may need to be carried out on the adjacent teeth to make them stronger and prepare them for the bridge attachment.
The most common type of bridge is a ‘Traditional Bridge’ which involves strengthening the supporting teeth by fitting crowns and then attaching the replacement tooth in between. They are usually made of porcelain fused to metal.
A ‘Bonded Bridge’ is a structure which consists of a plastic tooth/teeth and partial gum, with ‘wings’ attached to each side. These wings are then bonded to the adjacent teeth. This method is more suitable for filling small gaps and the supporting teeth need less preparation.
It is also possible to create a bridge when there is tooth on only one side of the missing tooth/teeth. This is called a Cantilever bridge.
Bridgework offers a permanent solution for replacing missing teeth, but needs to be checked regularly to ensure the teeth that the bridge is fixed to, remain in a healthy condition. Providing you exercise good oral hygiene, the bridge can last anywhere between 7 and 15 years.
A full dental assessment is an essential part of bridge treatment, so we would recommend a consultation with our Consultant in Restorative Dentistry. This may include dental scans to build a full picture and you will be provided with a treatment plan based on the consultant’s recommendations.