Dental bridges are false teeth that are used to replace missing teeth. Unlike traditional removable dentures, a dental bridge is fixed (is not removable). It is cemented to the teeth on one, or both, sides by means of a "capping" (as illustrated). They are an alternative "fixed" option to replace missing teeth as to comparison to dental implants for patients who do not want to have surgery (or may not be suitable for implants).
Why may I need a bridge? Gaps in your teeth don’t just look unappealing, they can also cause a lot of damage to the surrounding teeth, putting more pressure on them and sometimes straining the jaw. The teeth on either side of your tooth gap can tilt and also the opposing tooth can overerupt into the space. Over time, this can cause a variety of other issues. A dental bridge is used to solve this problem, usually by fixing a false tooth in the gap and using the natural teeth to hold it in place. Your dentist will fully assess your suitability for a bridge.
How are bridges made? Generally, it takes two appointments to prepare and fit a bridge. During the first appointment the adjacent teeth are trimmed down slightly to accommodate the bridge. An impression is taken of the area and the bridge is custom-made by a specialised lab technician according to the dentist’s instructions. In this first appointment we will also determine the right shade for your bridge and fit a temporary bridge until your new one is ready. At your second appointment, the temporary bridge is removed and the new one fitted. Your dentist will ensure the fit is comfortable and that you are happy with the appearance.
Different types of bridges Materials in which bridges are made of
Combination of metal and ceramic
Cantilever bridge This bridge is attached to your teeth only on one side. This is not suitable in every situation but your dentist will advise you of the best option for you. Fixed-fixed bridge These are attached onto teeth on either side of the false tooth. This is more common than a cantilever bridge. Implant-retained bridge This is a bridge that is held in by implants (as opposed to your natural tooth). This is likely to be needed if you choose not to use your own teeth to support a bridge or whether the gap is too large for your teeth to support a long span bridge.
Your suitability for bridges will be assessed and your dentist will discuss your various options with the advantages and disadvantages.