Dental Bridges are used when one or more teeth are missing.
Look and feel natural, without hooks or clasps, and stay in permanently
Not replacing missing teeth can cause various other issues including loss of more teeth, current teeth begin to change position and chewing difficulties.
Why Replace Missing Teeth ?
Apart from biting and chewing, teeth have other functions too. So, missing teeth should be replaced:
To maintain natural bite
To prevent shifting of other teeth around gaps
To improve chewing function
To improve appearance
To improve speech
To prevent stress to other teeth
To avoid Gum disease
To avoid temporomandibular joint (TMJD) disorders
What is a Dental Bridge ?
Dental Bridge replaces one or more missing teeth. They are literally the bridge that closes the gap due to missing teeth.
A bridge is constructed by preparing 2 crowns on the 2 teeth next to the space, the 2 crowns are joined together to replace the missing teeth.
Types of Bridges
There are 3 kinds of Dental Bridges:
Process of Dental Bridge
The Process of a Dental Bridge is very similar to the process of a crown, however for a bridge you are preparing multiple teeth next to the gap.
1. Impression of teeth and temporary Crown
The Dentist will take a permanent impression of your lower and upper teeth for a record of their appearance and how they fit together when jaws are closed (called “occlusion”).
2. Preparation of the Bridge
The dentist will apply local Anaesthetic and the teeth are shaped and made smaller. After shaping, another impression is taken to record changes. To protect the prepared tooth, a temporary crown is attached to the shaped tooth with temporary cement. The Impressions are sent to a Dental Lab to make the Crown per the specifications
3. Preparation of the Temporary teeth.
A jaw-shaped tray is filled with a soft, gel-like material, pushed onto your teeth, and held in place to set for 3 to 5 minutes
1. The Temporary crown is removed. The new permanent bridge is placed over the shaped teeth to check the shape and check the colour match.
2. If everything is fine, the permanent bridge is cemented to the teeth with dental cement.
3. Finally, the dentist will test occlusion to check if you are comfortable with your bite. Minor adjustments are often required to achieve comfort
To maintain your bridge you should continue to brush and floss your teeth as normal and continue to see your dentist for your regular dental check up and cleans every 6months. The only additional care your bridge will require is the use of a different floss called “super floss”. This particular floss is designed to get underneath the ‘pontic’ of the bridge.