Bridge The Gap In Your Smile – Bridges offer a natural looking solution for missing or broken teeth.
There are many tooth replacement options out there which can be very confusing. Sometime it might seem easier to do nothing at all and live with a gap in your mouth – especially if it’s towards the back where nobody sees it.
If you are missing a tooth, it is very important to your health and wellbeing that you get it replaced. Missing teeth affect your speech, how your smile looks and can cause a strain on your remaining teeth as your chewing action changes. Extra space can also encourage your remaining teeth to grow crookedly.
So if you or one of your loved ones are missing one or more teeth, the question is not “Should I replace it?” but “How should I replace it?”.
Dental bridges are pretty much what they say on the tin; they literally bridge the gap created by one or more missing teeth. Many people like to think of them as a row of crowns joined together and used to close a space left by the loss of a tooth. The bridge is anchored in place against the existing teeth on either side.
Anyone who is missing between one to three consecutive teeth is an ideal candidate for a dental bridge. Those who are missing a more substantial number of teeth may be better suited to a fixed or removable partial denture or dental implants.
When might you need a dental bridge?
A bridges would be recommended if you have one or more teeth missing which is affecting:
How you smile or your appearance.
If your bite is affected by teeth leaning into spaces and causing issues with your upper and lower teeth biting together evenly.
The shape of your face.
If food begins to build up in the gaps left by missing teeth, and begins to cause gum disease and tooth decay.
There are two types of bridges:
A conventional or an adhesive bridge.
In a conventional bridge, the false teeth are attached to crowns on one or both sides of a gap. This treatment will involve some drilling of the natural teeth and once prepared, an impression or digital scan of the affected teeth is taken. This is sent to our dental laboratory to manufacture the dental bridge and is usually returned to us within two to three weeks. During this time to prevent any sensitivity, a temporary bridge will cover the area.
Once manufactured, the bridge will be tried in place and may require some small adjustments before it is permanently cemented into place. The advantages of conventional bridges are that they are very strong and not removable.
Adhesive Bridge (also known as a Maryland Bridge)
An adhesive bridge is a fake tooth which is attached to a small wing of metal. This type of bridge requires very little preparation or drilling, and an injection is generally not needed. Once the area has been prepared, an impression or digital scan of the teeth is taken and sent to our dental laboratory. The bridge is usually returned within two weeks for fitting
When using an adhesive bridge to replace a front tooth, the metal wings are stuck onto the back of the adjacent teeth and cannot be seen from the front.
An adhesive bridge is stuck on with a powerful glue. The advantages of an adhesive bridge are that they are not removable and requires minimal drilling of the adjacent teeth.
Advantages of having a dental bridge
Great aesthetics - not only can you fill the space of missing teeth, but you can also make improvements to the color and the shape of the teeth that you are crowning on either side.
A bridge is a fixed solution
Protection - If the teeth on either side of the bridge are heavily filled or broken down, crowning these teeth as part of the bridge will help to strengthen them.
Long lasting - Fixed bridgework is very predictable, durable and lasts a considerable length of time.
Relatively quick - Once the decision has been made to bridge a gap it generally takes two appointments from start to finish.
Less invasive than implants
Restore your smile
Chew with confidence - Losing teeth may affect your bite. People often chew on one side if they are missing teeth. Dental Bridges help you to distribute the forces in your bite properly by replacing missing teeth.
Prevent teeth from drifting out of position
Dental bridges help you speak properly
Maintain the shape of your face - Replacing lost teeth will help maintain your facial tone and prevent facial changes.
How long will my dental bridges last?
As long as you maintain good dental hygiene and eating habits your bridge could last 10 - 15 years.