What are dental bridges?
Bridges are commonly used to replace 1 or 2 missing teeth. A bridge spans the space where teeth are missing and are fixed into position by bonding them to the neighbouring natural tooth or teeth.
Bridges are made from Porcelain (Ceramic) allowing them to be matched to the colour of the adjacent natural teeth.
To determine if a dental bridge is recommended an x-ray is recorded and the health status of the neighbouring teeth, roots, gums and bone are assessed.
Dental bridges are generally completed after two appointments:
- The first visit involves shaping and cleaning the adjacent tooth/teeth to allow the bridge to be placed. Impressions are then recorded of the space and the teeth. From this impression, the custom-made bridge is made in an external dental laboratory.
- During this period, a temporary bridge is placed.
- When the bridge is ready (usually taking approximately 14 days), the temporary bridge is removed. The fit of the new bridge is checked and then bonded into position.
A dental bridge provides a strong and reliable option to naturally replace missing teeth. Replacing missing teeth helps to improve your eating, speaking and the appearance of your smile.
Beyond this, gaps left by missing teeth may cause the remaining teeth to rotate or shift into the empty spaces, resulting in a bad bite. The imbalance caused by missing teeth can also lead to gum disease and temporomandibular joint (TMJD) disorders.
- Brushing with fluoride toothpaste twice a day;
- Flossing daily;
- A well balanced diet and limit sugary snacks between meals;
- To prevent damage to a bridge it is recommended the restoration is “guarded” by avoiding chewing very hard foods, ice or other hard objects; and
- Regular 6 monthly examination and professional cleanings are essential to ensure the long-term health of the dental bridge.