If you have missing teeth, the unfilled spaces may cause the surrounding teeth to rotate and drift out of position thereby causing a host of problems including a bad bite, hard to clean teeth, gum disease and temperomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.
Unlike removable appliances such as dentures, which you can take out and clean daily, a bridge fills a space permanently by linking into your adjacent teeth. Beautifully made out of porcelain, they are extremely durable, correct bite issues, improve speech and are a good way to get your smile back on track.
It takes two appointments to make your bridge. That’s because your bridge is custom crafted in a dental laboratory to precisely fit your teeth.
The procedure takes two appointments. At the first appointment, we minimally shape the teeth in either side of the space, take a special mould of the teeth and place a customised temporary bridge.
About 14 days later at your second appointment, we remove the temporary bridge. We place your new bridge and check the fit and your bite.
There are 3 main types of bridge
1. Maryland bridge – is an extremely conservative treatment option where we are able to replace a missing tooth using a restoration where the porcelain tooth is fused to metal ‘wings’. These ‘wings’ are bonded to the back surface of adjacent teeth, (the surface that the tongue can touch) using resin that is hidden from view, making this a highly aesthetic option.
2. Cantilever bridge – is used mostly at the front of the mouth where less stress forces are present. It is a highly effective solution for one missing tooth, where there are teeth present either side of the gap. The false tooth is anchored to one of the adjacent teeth so is more conservative than a fixed bridge.
3. Traditional fixed bridge – this is the most commonly used type of bridge and consists of a minimum of 3 porcelain units, to replace one or more teeth. Both teeth either side of the gap are prepared to receive the bridge and once fixed, it cannot be removed. A bridge can also be fitted to implants either side of a gap. With proper oral hygiene, your bridge can last up to ten years. However, improper or infrequent brushing and flossing, irregular dental visits can all affect the longevity of your bridge.