Dental Bridges

A long-lasting restoration for a missing tooth

A dental bridge is a form of tooth restoration employed to replace any gaps left by missing teeth. They are made from a false tooth, known as a pontic, and crowns that are fused to adjacent teeth. Teeth are strong and durable but can be lost from injury or decay. If you lose a tooth it can have implications on oral health, the ability to speak clearly and eat properly, as well impacting the aesthetics of a smile. We recommend patients replace missing teeth to reduce the risk of oral health diseases and restore mouth functionality.

Dental bridges can be created from a range of materials, including ceramic materials such as porcelain and precious metals.

There are three forms of dental bridge: the conventional fixed bridge, the Maryland Bridge and the cantilever bridge. The conventional fixed is made from a pontic and two crowns and will be attached to adjacent teeth. It is not removable and should last for a number of years once fixed in place. The conventional bridge is often used but the supporting teeth must be at a certain level of health to be eligible.

A Maryland bridge is recommended in cases where there is a gap is at the front of the mouth and healthy teeth on both sides of the absent tooth. The false tooth is bonded to the adjoining teeth using resin.

A cantilever bridge is chosen if healthy teeth are in position on only one side of the gap. The pontic is attached to either one or two teeth on one side of the gap.

Who is dental bridge treatment suitable for?

Dental bridges are used for people who have one or more missing teeth that are affecting:

  • The smile and tooth appearance
  • Bite function
  • Speech
  • Facial profile
  • Increased tooth decay due to gaps

Teeth on either side of a missing tooth can become strained and may also start to move out of alignment. Bone can disintegrate after a tooth becomes missing, which can affect how the face looks and food can easily become stuck in gaps, leading to potentially serious gum disease and tooth decay.

The bridge treatment process

The process to apply a dental bridge is fairly simple and our dentists have a great deal of experience in this field. There is often no need for anaesthetic and the procedure only takes a short period of time. An impression of the teeth will first be created and employed as a template for the bridge. We will discuss materials and shades so that you can decide on which would suit you best. For a natural, glossy sheen porcelain bridges are a popular choice among patients.

Is the procedure painful?

A mild anaesthetic is usually required to numb the surrounding area before treatment. Teeth may be extra sensitive initially after treatment, in which case using sensitive toothpaste may help. Your dentist will advise you on the best course of action.

How long does bridge treatment take?

Two appointments are generally required for the fitting of a dental bridge. In the first, the temporary bridge will be fitted and the surrounding teeth prepared. An impression will be made so that the bridge can be made in a laboratory. Once the permanent bridge has been made it can then be fitted in the second appointment. The bridge may not be permanently cemented at once and extra visits may be required so that the fit is correct, but generally they only take two visits.

Advantages of dental bridges

The bridges look natural in the mouth and fit in beautifully with the rest of the teeth. They also only require two visits to the dentist and so do not take up a lot of time. Another advantage is that they last for a long time if looked after well and their life span is between 5 and ten years. They improve a great deal of issues that missing teeth create such as appearance, bite function and speech.

Disadvantages of dental bridges

For a few weeks after treatment the teeth can be extra sensitive to hot and cold, but this should only be temporary. Teeth on either side of the gap need to be healthy so that they can be treated and prepared. There is also an increased risk of gum disease and oral infection if a high standard of oral hygiene is not maintained.

Cost of dental bridges

The cost of a dental bridge will depend on the severity of your dental condition, how many teeth are in need of treatment and the type of dental bridge chosen. In most cases, patients can expect to pay the following:

  • Porcelain Dental Bridge: £380
  • Emax Dental Bridge: £525

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