What is a Dental Bridge?
Bridges replace one or more missing teeth. They consist of an artificial tooth bonded to a patient’s natural teeth on either side of the gap.
What material is a bridge made of?
Bridges are generally made of porcelain. Porcelain is strong and can be made to match the colour of the natural teeth, whilst being resistant to staining.
Why might my dentist recommend a bridge?
Teeth have many functions, so should be replaced to:
- improve appearance
- reduce stress on other teeth
- prevent teeth movement
- maintain the natural bite
- improve chewing ability
Can my dentist fabricate and fit a dental bridge?
All general dentists are qualified to fit bridges however; a dentist with specialist training in crown and bridge work is called a prosthodontist.
What is involved?
You will require at least two appointments for preparation and fitting of a dental bridge. On your first visit, the dentist will take an impression of the upper and lower teeth using a soft gel-like material pushed onto your teeth and held in place to set for three to five minutes. After the teeth on either side of gap are shaped by drilling under a local anaesthetic, another impression is taken to record the changes to the prepared teeth. The impressions are then sent to a dental laboratory for fabrication.
To protect the prepared teeth, temporary crowns are fitted with temporary cement until the next appointment when the temporary crowns are removed and the permanent bridge is fitted.
How do I care for my dental bridge?
Bridges should last for a number of years however; there is no lifetime guarantee. Longevity of the bridge will depend on good dental hygiene and oral health. Therefore dental check-ups are advisable. Bridges require regular flossing and brushing.