A dental bridge involves using the teeth either side of a gap as supporting pillars to support or suspend a fake tooth or teeth in the gap.
The teeth which are to be the supports for the bridge are prepared in a way similar to the preparation of a single crown. The teeth are made smaller by about 1 to 2 millimetres, depending on the part of the tooth being drilled. An impression is made of the prepared teeth and then sent to a lab. While the bridge is being made, the prepared teeth are protected by a temporary bridge. Once the final bridge has been put in with dental cement, it is not easy to get it off again without permanently damaging the porcelain and metal.
Bridges do require special oral hygiene and care. You cannot normally floss teeth which have been bridged and instead have to use specialised interdental brushes, or a product called Superfloss. Bridges are brushed with your toothbrush as per normal.
Advantages of a fixed bridge include proven reliability and longevity, with a well-made bridge lasting on average 10-15 years if they are well maintained. Some bridges have been known to last significantly longer than this. Obviously, the natural teeth supporting the bridge can become decayed if they are not well looked after and any damage to the supporting teeth generally means the bridge will be lost. Whilst extremely strong, your bridge will be damaged if it is placed under excessive force. Regular dental examinations allow your dentist to monitor your bridge and bite.
If you would like to know more about dental bridges, or to book an appointment, please contact us today.