Dental & Implant Centre in West Byfleet, Surrey
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Bridges

A porelain bonded metal bridge is a good solution for a missing tooth. However, under some lighting conditions, the metal in the bridge can make the teeth look dull. An alternative is for the bridge to be made of solid porcelain. This will give a more natural look to the teeth.

A bridge is a fixed replacement for a missing tooth or several teeth. The artificial tooth is anchored to your own teeth on either side, or sometimes just on one side. To make a strong and long-lasting bridge and to ensure alignment, the replacement teeth are sometimes attached to crowns which are fitted to the adjacent teeth.

An adhesive bridge is non destructive. A bridge is prepared and ‘stuck’ to the inside of the adjacent tooth.

Why might my dentist advise a bridge?

There are a number of reasons your dentist might advise that you consider having a bridge to fill a space in your mouth. You may:

  • Have a visible space and don’t like the idea of a denture
  • Already have a denture and would prefer a different solution
  • Have gaps at the back of your mouth and feel that you do not chew as well as you might
  • Have gaps which do not worry you but your dentist has noticed that your bite is altering, causing damage or potential damage to other teeth
  • Want to improve the appearance of your smile

How long will a bridge last?

This will depend very much on how strong the supporting teeth are, how heavy your bite is and how well the bridge is looked after with a good daily oral health regime and healthy diet that reduces the amount of sugary food and drink. In these circumstances a bridge will last for many years.

What are bridges made of?

There are a several types of bridge, including all porcelain, porcelain bonded to precious metal, and ceramic. If a supporting tooth is root-filled, it may need to have a metal or carbon fibre post fitted first in order to support or retain the bridge. Selecting the best type of bridge to fit your needs will depend on the necessity for strength and aesthetics. Your dentist will explain the differences and advise which is best for your circumstances, and cost will be taken into account.

What is the procedure?

Again, you will need 2 appointments for fitting a bridge. At the first appointment your dentist will trim and adjust the adjoining teeth to the required shape for crowns to fit over them. An impression will be taken and sent to the technician who will make the bridge. The colour will be carefully chosen to match your other teeth. Temporary crowns or a temporary bridge may be made and cemented on to the retaining teeth, to last until the next appointment.

At your second appointment, the temporary crowns/bridge will be removed, the permanent bridge inserted and carefully assessed for fit, appearance and correct bite. Any necessary adjustments will be made and, when perfect, the bridge will be permanently cemented to the supporting teeth cores.

Can missing teeth always be replaced with a bridge?

Not always. There must be enough adjacent teeth and they must be strong enough to support the extra chewing forces they will be asked to take. Also the bone supporting the adjacent teeth must be strong enough.

How else can a gap be filled?

If necessary, other options for filling a space are a removable denture or dental implants.

Looking after my bridge

Your dentist or hygienist will advise you on the best way to care for your bridge, and this will involve daily cleaning with floss or another cleaning method that will reach the supporting teeth under the bridge.