If you feel embarrassed about gaps in your smile, a natural-looking dental bridge can successfully fill in those spaces and help restore your confidence. A longer lasting alternative to dentures, dental bridges are an effective way to replace one or more missing teeth. A false tooth, positioned between two crowns, slots over the teeth either side of a gap (known as abutment teeth) or is held in place by dental implants. The teeth are usually made from porcelain fused to a metal or ceramic base, to offer a blend of strength and good looks.
As well as traditional bridges, featuring crowns and a false tooth in between, there are also cantilever bridges, for cases where there are teeth on only one side of the gap, and Maryland bonded bridges, which are attached to existing teeth with metal or ceramic wings.
What does treatment involve?
- The abutment teeth are prepared by removing a layer of enamel to ensure there will be sufficient room for the crowns.
- Impressions are taken so the bridge can be tailor-made to fit.
- While the bridge is being made, a temporary bridge may be put in place to protect the exposed teeth.
- When ready, the bridge is checked and adjusted to make sure it fits perfectly and is finally fixed in place with strong dental cement.
Looking after your bridge
Good oral hygiene is essential to ensure the longevity of your bridge. It is especially important to clean under false teeth, as well as brushing and flossing regularly.
If bridges are well looked after, and that includes keeping the surrounding teeth healthy so they can continue to provide a solid foundation, they should last for over ten years.