Broken, worn or missing teeth can be a source of embarrassment and discomfort for many patients. While there are many options for correcting these issues, dental bridges are a popular treatment that restore function and beauty to the smile.
A dental bridge contains prosthetic teeth to “bridge” gaps in your smile. Dental implant bridges are permanently anchored to neighbouring teeth either using a dental crown or a dental implant. Dental bridges, like dental crowns, are made of durable toot- like material for natural looking results.
Bridges are recommended when there are one or more teeth missing that affect:
An implant with a crown attached and holding a few other crowns in place might be a better option for you as opposed to a Bridge. The Implant Bridge will feel much more secure in your mouth than a Dental Bridge alone.
A dental bridge essentially consists of:
Reduced bone loss
Normally, the bone tissue surrounding the root of your tooth is maintained by your body’s natural renewal process. However, if you lose a tooth, you will be left with a hole where your tooth root used to be and the bone around this area will slowly begin to disappear (atrophy) which may change the shape of your jaw.
A dental implant placed in that area can actually stimulate bone growth and production, preventing loss of valuable bone structure. In some patients where bone loss is substantial, a bone graft may be required before placing a dental implant.
Bone loss is a problem for people who have dentures, and as the shape of the jaw slowly changes, the dentures need to be adjusted or re-made to fit the new shape of the jaw. Bone loss can also make a person look older, since the area around the mouth can sag as bone is lost.
Once dental implants are fully integrated into your jaw, they function just as well as your own natural teeth: you can eat the foods you want and speak with complete confidence. With dentures, eating hard foods such as an apple can be a problem, either the dentures come loose or the patient’s gums cannot withstand the painful hard biting forces.
Irritation and inflammation of the gums is a common problem amongst denture patients. Dentures can be supported by implants or mini-implants, which will greatly improve function, enabling patients to eat the foods they want with confidence and not having to worry about bone loss and loose dentures falling out.
Improved dental hygiene
Unlike bridges and dentures, which require special cleaning instructions and extra attention, dental implants only need regular brushing, flossing and dental hygiene appointments, just like your natural teeth.
If done correctly, a dental implant should be indistinguishable from your surrounding natural teeth. Dentures can come loose and look unnatural if they do not blend with your gums, and some bridges and dentures have unsightly metal clasps to hold them in place. Dental implants provide a much better cosmetic and functional end result.
No need to drill or remove any healthy tooth structure
When replacing missing teeth with dental bridges, the teeth adjacent to the gap need to be prepared and healthy tooth structure is removed to accommodate a crown or bridge abutment to fit over the top of the tooth.
In the future, if one of the supporting teeth is damaged, the entire bridge restoration will also be compromised, whereas with an implant, the restoration is independent of any of your other teeth. By replacing lost teeth with an implant, no support is required of the adjacent teeth, and your natural teeth do not need to be prepared or altered in any way
Your appearance is one reason. Another is that the gap left by a missing tooth can mean greater strain on the teeth at 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 causes both decay and gum disease.
This depends on the number of teeth missing and where they are in the mouth. The condition of the other teeth also affects the decision. There are three main ways we aim to replace the missing teeth. The first is with a removable false tooth or teeth – a partial denture. The second is with a fixed bridge, and the third is an implant. A bridge is usually used where there are fewer teeth to replace, or when the missing teeth are only on one side of the mouth.
Yes, if you have enough strong teeth with good bone support. Your dentist will help you decide the best way of replacing your missing teeth taking your concerns and budget into consideration.
Bridges are usually made of a precious metal base. If the bridge will show, porcelain is then bonded to the base. More recently Zirconia bridges have become available, offering both strength and superior cosmetics.
You need to clean your bridge every day to prevent problems such as bad breath and gum disease. Aftercare is essential if you are going to have a long-lasting, successful bridge. Waterside’s hygiene team will give you detailed advice on how to care for your bridge.
Yes, there are different types of bridge which use different fixing methods. Your dentist will choose the most effective and conservative bridge for your personal situation.
A bridge takes at least two visits; the first to prepare the tooth, take impressions and to match the shade, and the second to fit it. Cementing the bridge in place is done with a special adhesive, which holds it firmly on the tooth.
Monday - Thursday
8:30am - 5:30pm
7:30am - 1:30pm
Saturday & Sunday
(Closed for lunch: 1:00pm-2:00pm)
This was my first time using this practice to get a tooth rebuilt and I can honestly say it was totally stress free from the very pleasant and friendly girls on reception to the actual work done by Owen and Joanne the hygienist.