A dental bridge essentially bridges a gap in your mouth. It involves replacing a missing tooth with a false tooth which is bonded to the natural teeth on either side of the gap. There are two main types of dental bridge. The most common type consists of two crowns, made of porcelain or metal, which are permanently bonded to your natural teeth either side of the space, with the false tooth (or teeth) in the middle.
If the teeth either side of your missing teeth are strong and healthy, you may be able to have an adhesive bridge. An adhesive bridge is a false tooth with ‘wings’ either side of it. These wings are bonded to the inner surfaces of the supporting teeth. This avoids the need to prepare the neighboring teeth for full coverage crowns.
What are the benefits of dental bridges?
Dental bridges offer a permanent solution for missing teeth. Unlike dental implants, bridges can replace missing teeth without surgery. And with porcelain finishes available, your new tooth could be almost indistinguishable from the natural teeth surrounding it.
Having a dental bridge can boost your confidence in your smile and make day to day activities such as eating and talking easier. Replacing a missing tooth can also help protect your remaining teeth. When you have gaps, remaining teeth may lean over or move into the space, affecting the way you bite. Food can also get trapped in spaces, increasing your risk of tooth decay.
Dental bridges are an investment in your confidence, quality of life and oral health.
What are the alternatives to dental bridges?
There are several ways to replace missing teeth. It’s important to explore all the options and discuss them with your dentist. Alternatives to bridges include:
- Full or partial dentures (false teeth) – Removable plastic or metal frameworks that have false teeth attached
- Dental implants – An imitation porcelain tooth (a crown)fitted on top of a titanium implant that is fixed directly into your jawbone
Your dentist will help you decide which option is best for you. Dentures and bridges are only offered on the NHS if it is considered to be clinically necessary to replace teeth, but dental implants are usually only available privately.
How are dental bridges fitted?
To create the bridge, your dentist will take an impression of your mouth. This involves creating a plaster mold of your teeth and gums, so the bridge can be made to fit your mouth as closely as possible. At this stage, your dentist will also determine the right shade for your bridge, so it matches your natural teeth.
The bridge is then custom-made by a specialized lab technician according to the dentist’s instructions. Your dentist can fit a temporary solution, such as a plastic bridge or crown, while you’re waiting for your bespoke bridge to be made.
Once it’s ready, your dentist will fit your new bridge. You will be given a local anesthetic injection before the procedure begins, which will block any pain from your gums, but you will stay awake during the procedure. Your dentist will ensure the fit is comfortable by checking that you bite correctly with the bridge in place.
The dental professionals at Dental Esthetics Center in Downtown Los Angeles will be happy to answer any questions you may have about dental bridges.
After your bridge has been fitted
Following the placement of a dental bridge, there can be some soreness from the gum or perhaps slight sensitivity to hot and cold food and drinks. The new tooth may also feel slightly strange because it’s filling the gap that was present. However, these issues should pass within a few days. Occasionally, new teeth might feel a little high when you bite together. Your dentist can make alterations to correct minor problems like this in follow-up appointments.
Bridges are permanently fixed in place, so you don’t remove them for cleaning. To keep your natural teeth healthy, you need to clean the gap under a bridge with a special dental floss. Your dentist or hygienist will show you how to floss under your bridge. If it is well looked after, a bridge can last for many years.
FAQs Dental Bridge Treatments
► Treatment required: Local Anesthetic, Drilling, Impressions, Temporary Bridge, Bonding, Insertion of Final Bridge
► Typical Treatment Plan includes:
Visit One: Consultation
Visit Two: Bridge Preparation Appointment
Visit Three: Bridge Insertion Appointment
► Treatment time: 2-3 weeks
► Follow-up required: Regular Check-ups, bite adjustment, Cleaning of teeth and gums six monthly
► Type of Treatment: To cover over the entire Tooth and Bridge across to replace missing tooth
► Used for: Missing teeth
► Products used: Zirconia Milled, Emax Porcelain from Ivoclar Vivadent, Porcelain Fused to Gold, Gold