In addition to having dental implants to replace missing, you could consider having a bridge. A bridge is used where there are fewer teeth to replace. You can choose to have a removable false tooth or teeth, like a partial denture or a fixed bridge. Bridges are usually used where missing teeth are only on one side of the mouth.
Bridges are usually made of a precious metal base although sometimes non precious metals can be used in the base to reduce the cost.
Why do I need a Bridge?
Your dentist will recommend a bridge for cosmetic and clinical reasons. A missing tooth following an accident can obviously be unsightly and traumatic, and a bridge is an effective way to solve this problem. However, a dentist will also use a bridge in situations where it has been necessary to extract a tooth because of advanced decay. The clinical advantages of using a bridge are that it will reduce strain on the surrounding teeth, and prevent problems with the patient’s bite developing- surrounding teeth will often start to move into a gap, and food can become trapped leading to increased decay and gum disease.
What are the parts of a typical dental bridge (fixed) ?
A dental bridge essentially consists of:
- A pontic or false tooth used to replace the missing tooth, and is made from gold, alloys, porcelain or a combination of these materials
- Two crowns – serving to anchor the false tooth in place.
What are bridges made of?
Bridges may be made of :
- Porcelain bonded to precious metal.
- All metal dental bridges (Gold)
How your bridge is fitted
It will take at least two visits to your dentist to have a bridge fitted and adjusted correctly. On your first visit preparatory work will be done, such as making space for new crowns for a fixed bridge. Your dentist will then take a mould of your teeth from which your bridge will be made.
On your next visit, your bridge will be fitted and adjusted to ensure a correct bite. It is unlikely your dentist will permanently fix your bridge until you’ve worn it for a few weeks and are both happy with the fit and feel. It will then be fixed permanently into place.
How long will dental bridges last?
Dental bridges can last 10-15 years provided that you maintain good dental hygiene and eating habits.
Why should you replace missing teeth?
Your appearance is just one reason, but the gap left by a missing tooth can mean strain is put on the teeth at either side of the missing tooth. It can also cause the teeth next to this gap, to lean into it and this can alter the way the upper and lower teeth bite together. It can cause further problems as food can get into the gap, which causes decay and gum disease