A Dental Bridge replaces a missing tooth or teeth by using the teeth either side of the gap as support. You can lose teeth for many reasons, including decay, gum disease and trauma, for example being hit in the mouth while playing sport.
What does treatment involve?
A thorough examination, including an x-ray, to ensure the health of the teeth either side of the gap and the health of all the supporting structures, especially the gums. You will need 2 visits. In the first appointment, your dentist will prepare the teeth either side of the gap to the ideal shape for the chosen bridge, take dental impressions and a shade to match your natural teeth then fit a temporary bridge. In the second appointment, your dentist will remove the temporary bridge and fit the permanent dental bridge ensuring proper fit and occlusion (how the teeth come together). There will usually be 2 weeks between appointments.
how long will it last?
It depends on how well you look after them and on the type of bridge: the generally quoted average is 10 years for ‘normal’ Bridges, 7 years for ‘sticky’ bridges.
are there any alternatives?
Bridges are not the first choice if the teeth either side of the gap are completely healthy, as is usually the case after trauma: as Dentists, we are always reluctant to remove enamel from healthy teeth, simply to fit a Bridge. The main alternatives are Dental Implants or Dentures.
are there any downsides to having a bridge?
Yes, irreversible tooth removal either side of the gap. Trauma to any tooth, including removing the tooth surface to fit a Bridge, may cause the tooth nerve to die, which could lead to the need for root canal treatment. This can be performed through the Bridge if this is required.
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