Used to replace a missing tooth, dental bridges involve fixing a false tooth in place by attaching it to one or two teeth on either side. Usually these supporting teeth are crowned to give extra strength, but there are various different types of bridges. The dentist will discuss these with you fully during consultation and treatment planning. Bridges are made of metal and porcelain or sometimes just porcelain and ceramics.
Bridges are made of metal and porcelain or sometimes just porcelain and ceramics.
What to expect:
- Depending on the amount of tooth preparation required, the dentist may first give you an injection to numb the tooth or teeth.
- The dentist uses a soft, moldable material to take impressions of your mouth. A dental technician will then make exact plaster models of your upper and lower teeth and gums which show how your teeth bite together.
- The teeth that will support the bridge are prepared to take the fixings and to make sure that the bridge is not too bulky.
- Another impression is taken of the teeth, and the dental technician uses this to make the bridge. An acrylic temporary bridge or temporary crown may be fitted in the meantime.
- At your final visit, the dentist will check that the bridge fits and make any minor adjustments. Then, after checking that you are happy, it is fixed permanently in place. Your dentist or hygienist will show you the best way of keeping your new bridge clean.
- A bridge lets you almost forget that you have missing teeth.
- It can improve the way you look, bite, chew and speak.
- The teeth can be matched quite closely to the colour of your own teeth.
- A bridge can last many years, if you keep it clean and if there is no accidental damage.
- Natural teeth are protected from wear and tear, and the chewing load is spread.
If you do not want a bridge, you can have a removable partial denture. The dentist will explain how successful a bridge will be. If the supporting teeth are not strong enough, a denture might be better. If you have just had some teeth taken out, a denture might be made first, with a bridge fitted later when the gum has healed.