What is a bridge?
A bridge is a fixed replacement for a missing tooth or teeth. It spans the space where the teeth are missing.
Once it has been fitted the bridge does not need to be removed from the mouth each day, unlike a denture.
There are two main types of bridges:
- Fixed bridges – the tooth or teeth adjacent to the missing tooth are reduced down in size (similar to the process for making a crown for a tooth) and a bridge can then be custom made to fit over the prepared teeth with an artificial tooth crown filling the space.
- Adhesive bridges – (sometimes called Maryland or Resin-bonded bridges) an artificial tooth crown can be custom made to replace the missing tooth with a metal wing attached to it that can be bonded on to the tooth adjacent to space. The advantage over fixed bridgework is that little or no tooth has to be cut back to allow space for the bridgework.
Why do I need a bridge?
Your dentist may recommend a bridge if you’re missing one or more teeth and would like a fixed replacement.
It may be that replacing the missing tooth/teeth will improve your ability to chew.
It may be that you are unhappy with the appearance of the gap where your tooth is missing and a bridge could give a natural appearance.
All of our bridges are custom made for each individual case by a highly skilled dental technician to ensure an excellent fit and appearance.
Your dentist will discuss the treatment options with you, checking that you understand the procedure and answering any questions you may have.
Usually, we will need an up to date X-ray of your tooth/teeth to check that the roots are healthy and the foundations strong before commencing on the process of preparing your tooth/teeth for a bridge.
How long will my bridge last?
Studies show that bridges tend to last around 10 years, although some can last longer.
There are a wide variety of factors that influence this, including:
- the strength of the underlying tooth.
- the health of the nerve within the tooth.
- the position of the tooth within the mouth.
- how much stress and strain a particular bridge is put under.
- how well the bridge is looked after.