Missing teeth can cause us to feel self-conscious about smiling. They can also affect how you eat and speak. A bridge is a longer lasting alternative that can replace one or more missing teeth. They work by using the teeth on either side of the gap to support the false tooth.
As well as restoring a smile, bridges also improve eating and speaking. They correct your bit and prevent your remaining teeth from moving out of position.
We use three different types of bridge
- The first type of bridge is the most common. Crowns are fitted over the supporting teeth (the abutment teeth) and cemented in place.
- The second type is used if one of the supporting teeth is too weak or missing. The bridge used uses two or more teeth on one side.
- The third type, the Maryland or Fochet’s bridge, uses ‘wings that fit onto the inside of the adjacent teeth. This type is usually a temporary treatment used to protect the space while waiting for bone to regenerate or for injection to clear.
Bridges may be made out of plastic, porcelain, bonded porcelain to metal, metal, or white composite filling material. We make all our bridges out of e-max for short bridges or porcelain with metal framework for longer span bridges.
- The abutment teeth, the teeth supporting the bridge, are prepared by removing a layer of enamel to ensure there will be sufficient room for the crowns.
- Impressions are taken so the bridge can be tailor-made to fit.
- While the bridge is being made, a temporary bridge may be put in place to protect the exposed teeth.
- When ready, the bridge is checked and adjusted to make sure it fits perfectly and it is finally fixed in place with strong dental cement.
Good oral hygiene is essential to ensure the longevity of your bridge. It is especially important to clean under the false tooth, as well as brushing and flossing regularly. If bridges are well looked after, and that includes keeping the surrounding teeth healthy so they can continue to provide a solid foundation, they should last for over ten years.