A dental bridge essentially bridges a gap in your mouth. It involves replacing a missing tooth with a false tooth which is bonded to the natural teeth on either side of the gap. There are two main types of dental bridge. The most common type consists of two crowns, made of porcelain or metal, which are permanently bonded to your natural teeth either side of the space, with the false tooth (or teeth) in the middle.
Restoring a Smile
The location of the missing tooth is important when deciding between a bridge or implant as a replacement. If you choose a bridge to replace a tooth toward the back of the mouth, it won’t be visible when you smile.
However, if the bridge is to replace a missing tooth at the front of your mouth, the effect may not look natural. We recommend implants for restoring a natural, attractive smile that looks like it’s always has been that way.
Other advantages of implants
Implants also help prevent the jaw bone from deteriorating. When teeth fall out or are extracted, the jaw bone shrinks over time and changes the face’s appearance and smile. An implant is embedded in the jaw bone, and using the new tooth to bite and chew stimulates the bone, helping to prevent it from shrinking.
However, the false tooth in a dental bridge doesn’t contact the jaw bone, so there may be bone loss.
To create the bridge, our dentist will take an impression of your mouth. This involves creating a plaster mould of your teeth and gums, so the bridge can be made to fit your mouth as closely as possible. At this stage, our dentist will also determine the right shade for your bridge, so it matches your natural teeth.
The bridge is then custom-made by a specialised lab technician according to the dentist’s instructions. Our dentist can fit a temporary solution, such as a plastic bridge or crown, while you’re waiting for your bespoke bridge to be made.
Once it’s ready, our dentist will fit your new bridge. You will be given a local anaesthetic injection before the procedure begins, which will block any pain from your gums, but you will stay awake during the procedure. Our dentist will ensure the fit is comfortable by checking that you bite correctly with the bridge in place.
There are several ways to replace missing teeth. It’s important to explore all the options and discuss them with your dentist. Alternatives to bridges include:
Full or partial dentures (false teeth) – Removable plastic or metal frameworks that have false teeth attached
Dental implants – An imitation porcelain tooth (a crown)fitted on top of a titanium implant that is fixed directly into your jawbone
Out dentist will help you decide which option is best for you. Dentures and bridges are only offered on the NHS if it is considered to be clinically necessary to replace teeth, but dental implants are usually only available privately.
Dental bridges offer a permanent solution for missing teeth. Unlike dental implants, bridges can replace missing teeth without surgery. And with porcelain finishes available, your new tooth could be almost indistinguishable from the natural teeth surrounding it.
Having a dental bridge can boost your confidence in your smile and make day to day activities such as eating and talking easier. Replacing a missing tooth can also help protect your remaining teeth. When you have gaps, remaining teeth may lean over or move into the space, affecting the way you bite. Food can also get trapped in spaces, increasing your risk of tooth decay.
Dental bridges are an investment in your confidence, quality of life and oral health.