Dental Bridges literally bridge the gap created by one or more missing teeth.
A bridge is made up of usually two or more crowns for the teeth on either sides of the gap — these two or more anchoring teeth are called abutment teeth. The false tooth/teeth in between can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials and are referred to as “pontics”. Dental bridges can supported by natural teeth. We do not routinely place bridges on a natural tooth and an implant at the same time.
So what Are the Benefits of Dental Bridges?
- Restore your smile
- Restore your ability to properly chew and speak
- Maintain facial shape and appearance
- Distributing the forces in your bite by replacing missing teeth
- Prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position
- What Types of Dental Bridges Are Available?
There are three main types of dental bridges:
Traditional bridges involve creating a crown for the tooth or implant on either side of the missing tooth, with a pontic in-between. Traditional bridges are the most common type of bridge and are made of either porcelain fused to metal or ceramic.
Cantilever bridges are used when there are adjacent teeth on only one side of the missing tooth or teeth. This are not very common and is not recommended in the back of the mouth where it can put too much force on other teeth and damage them.
Maryland bonded bridges (also called a resin-bonded bridge or a Maryland bridge) are made of porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, or plastic teeth and gums supported by a metal or porcelain framework. Metal or porcelain wings on each side of the bridge are bonded to your existing teeth.
Our dental surgeon may advise the use of a Maryland bonded bridge as a temporary restorative tool whilst an implant is healing.
The Dental Bridge Procedure
During the first visit, the dentist examines the health of your gums and other teeth to evaluate if you are a candidate for a dental bridge. If you are a candidate for a dental bridge, you will be given a local anaesthetic so your dentist can prepare the teeth required to support the bridge. Sometimes the planned supporting teeth may be decayed or badly broken down. In such instance, your dentist may have to build them back up before they can be used as support teeth for a bridge.
Next, your dentist will take an impression/ mold of the prepared teeth with a putty-like material so as to create a model of your teeth. Your bridge is fabricated based on this model by a skilled lab technician so that it precisely fits the prepared teeth. It is important that your restoration fits perfectly to avoid problems such as tooth decay.
While your bridge is being fabricated, your dentist will issue a temporary bridge so that the teeth and gums can be protected from damage until your permanent bridge is ready.
To complete the dental bridge procedure, you must return to the dental clinic for a second visit to have the bridge fitted and cemented.
Dental Bridges Recovery and Post Procedure Care
After your dental bridge has been cemented into place, your Nuffield Dentist will provide you with hygiene information to maintain the performance and longevity of your restoration, along with the health of your teeth and gums.
Mostly we will recommend a visit to the oral hygienist who will take time to show you a special bridge floss threader. This will allow you to properly and thoroughly floss the areas surrounding your bridge and between the pontic and underlying gum tissue. It should be used daily to prevent the build-up of plaque and bacteria. Proper brushing with fluoride toothpaste should be performed at least twice each day.