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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.
- Bridges are not suitable for every missing tooth so an assessment to vital to see if it will work well in your mouth. It is best to have bridge made not long after the tooth was taken out so that neighbouring teeth do not move into the space.
- There are different type of bridges available and we can assess which one can work well in your mouth. The various options will be discussed with you along with benefits and risks of each option.
- Two appointments will be needed for Bridge treatment.
Appointment 1: Your teeth will be numbed with a local anaesthetic. Teeth will be prepared by drilling to make space for the bridge to adapt to the teeth. Then impressions will be taken of prepared teeth and gap to sent to laboratory. Together, we will decide the shade of your bridge to best match your neighbouring teeth. Temporary material will be placed on prepared teeth. Please make sure that you avoid biting directly onto prepared teeth and keep it clean.
Appointment 2: Your teeth will be numbed with a local anaesthetic again at this appointment. The temporary material will be removed, your teeth will be cleaned and the Bridge will be placed. Then your bite will be checked. Please be aware that it will feel strange and different to your natural tooth.
You can expect sensitivity and tenderness after both appointments. Your bite will feel strange but it should all settle down in 1-2 weeks. If you feel further adjustments are needed after that, please give us a call to make an appointment. Root canal treatment might be needed on the prepared teeth if you have constant throbbing pain, severe pain or pain keeping you up at night.
The best approach is to treat the dental bridge in the same way you would treat your natural teeth and therefore brush regularly and floss to avoid decay that could damage the bridge and affect its longevity. Your dentist might suggest a special floss to use under the bridge. Even though the bridge is made up of artificial teeth it can still decay – brushing keeps it clean whilst flossing removes any food particles that may linger in your mouth and cause potential damage or other dental issues.
Your oral care routine, diet, and lifestyle can greatly impact the lifespans of dental bridges. Dental bridges can last at least five to seven years and by practicing good oral hygiene and visiting your dentist regularly, it could last over 10 years.
There are several ways to replace missing teeth. It is important to explore all the options and discuss them with your dentist. Alternatives to bridges include full or partial dentures (false teeth) or dental implants (a porcelain tooth fitted on top of a titanium implant that is fixed directly into your jawbone). Your dentist will help you decide which option is best for you.
One disadvantage of getting a dental bridge is that once the bridge is fitted, the adjacent teeth that the bridge is held in place by, may become damaged.
The success of a dental bridge is heavily dependent on the health of the adjacent teeth and gums for support. Any damage to them can result in damage to the dental bridge.