What is a Dental Bridge?
Dental bridges literally bridge the gap created by one or more missing teeth.A bridge is made up of two or more crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap.These two or more anchoring teeth are called abutment teeth and a false tooth/teeth in between are called pontic. They can sometimes help correct bite issues and prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position into the empty space.
Bridges are usually used where there are fewer teeth to replace, or when the missing teeth are only on one side of the mouth.
They can be made from metal, porcelain or a combination of both. The colour can be matched to the rest of your teeth to ensure they blend in and look natural.
How are Dental Bridges fitted?
In general the teeth will be prepared and an impression is taken of the mouth, using a soft mouldable material. This impression is given to a dental technician, who uses it to build exact plaster models of the upper and lower teeth and gums, and will use it to build the bridge to the exact size, shape and colour required. This will ensure that the bridge fits comfortably and looks natural.There could be some variations depending on the individual Scenario.
Whilst the bridge is being made, a temporary plastic bridge or crown may be fitted.
When the bridge is ready,the temporary bridge would be removed and it will be fitted and small adjustments made to ensure a comfortable bite is maintained, before it is fixed in place.
How to care for your Dental Bridge
Following the fitting, additional and regular oral hygiene care is required. If it is kept clean and providing there is no accidental damage, a bridge can last for many years. Your dentist or dental hygienist will recommend an appropriate home care regime.
You need to clean your bridge every day, to prevent problems such as bad breath and gum disease. You also have to clean under the false tooth every day. Your dentist or dental hygienist will show the most effective techniques to do this.
Why should I replace missing teeth?
Your appearance is one reason. Another is that the gap left by a missing tooth can mean greater strain is put on the teeth either side. A gap can also mean your bite is affected, because the teeth next to the space can lean into the gap and alter the way the upper and lower teeth bite together. This can then lead to food getting packed into the gap, which can cause both decay and gum disease.
Can I have a bridge fitted straight after having a tooth removed?
It can take up to 6 months for the gums to heal properly after an extraction. In most cases, you may need to wait at least 3 months after an extraction, before a bridge is fitted. Your dentist will be able to advise you on this, and suggest any temporary treatment available to fill the gap in your teeth whilst you wait.
Can I always have a bridge fitted to replace missing teeth?
Dental bridge won’t be always a right option to replace missing teeth.Your dentist would be able to advise you if it would be a right option to replace your missing tooth/teeth by dental bridges.If it is not a right option for you an alternative way to replace your missing tooth/teeth.