A bridge is a custom-made restoration that may be recommended by your dentist to replace missing teeth. Gaps left by missing teeth may cause surrounding or opposing teeth to move into that space which may cause bite problems. Bite problems can lead to gum disease and jaw joint problems in the long term.
Bridges span the space where teeth are missing, they are usually cemented to the natural teeth surrounding the empty space and these teeth serve as support for the missing tooth. The adjacent teeth might need to be reduced in size to accommodate a bridge. There are similar options in materials to crowns.
After a clinical examination by the dentist, the suitability for a bridge is assessed and any preparatory work carried out. Your dentist will advise on material choices, treatment sequence and any other concerns that you may have.
At the second appointment, the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth are reduced in size under local anaesthetic followed by an impression of the prepared teeth, either digitally or conventionally with a mould. The impression is usually sent to a dental laboratory where skilled technicians will fabricate the bridge. Meanwhile, temporary crowns are placed to protect the teeth.
At the third appointment, the temporary crown is removed and tooth cleaned. The completed crown is tried on the tooth for fit, harmony with the bite and appearance. Finally, it is cemented in.
Although a bridge may seem costly, they can be a wise investment that will give many years of good service. It will also improve your appearance and bite. There are a variety of options in materials and design when it comes to bridges and prices start from £650 per tooth involved.
You need to clean your bridge everyday to prevent problems such a bad breath, decay and gum disease. You will also have to clean under the false tooth every day. Your dentist or hygienist will show you how to use floss to do this as a normal toothbrush will not be able to reach certain areas under the bridge.