A bridge is one way of replacing a missing tooth or missing teeth with a ‘fixed’ restoration. A bridge needs to bond to the teeth on either side of the gap or, on occasions, just one tooth adjacent to the gap.
There are two main different types of bridge:
- Conventional Fixed Bridge
- Adhesive Winged Bridge
Of the two different types the Conventional Fixed Bridge requires a full crown preparation of the tooth or teeth whereas the Adhesive Winged Bridge requires a more subtle preparation of the inside surface of the tooth or teeth neighbouring to the gap. As a result, this bridge is considered to be a kinder approach to replacing a missing tooth or teeth. However, the surface area used to make the bridge adhere to the neighbouring tooth is much smaller and as a result is only suitable for certain situations in the mouth.
A bridge can be made using any of the same materials that a crown is made from, for instance, ceramic, ceramic bonded to precious metal alloy or even composite bonded to precious metal alloy.
Advantages of this type of treatment:
- Teeth are involved in the support of the soft tissue and skin on the face. When teeth are lost the support of your skin on your face diminishes too and accounts for a slightly ’sunken’ appearance on the face if the missing teeth are not replaced.
- Reducing the excess strain of function that will be subjected to neighbouring teeth is also an important reason for replacing missing teeth. This will prevent further broken teeth.
- Preventing tipping and collapsing of the teeth beside the gap. This undesirable movement will lead to areas that are difficult to maintain and keep clean. Subsequently gum disease and tooth decay is much more likely to occur.
The bridge will look very natural. Preparation and completion for this often requires only two appointments. Allowing for good standards of oral hygiene, you could expect a lifespan of anything between 10 and 15 years for a bridge.
Therefore, replacing your teeth with a bridge will attend to your appearance, your function and your continuing good dental health that would all be affected by a missing tooth or teeth.