What are Dental bridges?

Bridges are dental replacements for missing teeth that literally ‘bridge’ the gap in the teeth.

Who can benefit from having bridges?

Usually when there are fewer teeth to replace, a bridge is the suitable option. Existing teeth, cosmetic implants or a combination of both support the bridge or bridges. However you will need to have strong teeth and bones to support the bridge.

Procedure

You will need to have at least two appointments with your dentist to create and fit your bridge. Firstly, an anesthetic will be injected into the relevant area and the surrounding teeth will be prepared to accommodate the new overlying crowns – this may involve drilling the teeth to the right size and height. False teeth replace the missing teeth, and the crowns then sit either side of these, on top of existing teeth or implants, creating the ‘bridge’. A mould of the teeth is then taken and sent to the lab that will create the crown and bridge using the mould, as well as matching the colour to your natural shade. In the mean time you will be given a temporary bridge. On your second visit the new bridge is fitted and adjusted if necessary. It is then temporarily cemented for around two weeks to be sure of fit and comfort, before being permanently cemented using a special bonding agent. There are a variety of different types of bridges, and your dentist will discuss what is the most appropriate type is for you.

Recovery period

Your dentist will discuss with you what you can eat in the first few weeks following the bridge or bridges being fit, which may be restricted to start with. Your bridges should last around 10 years, and it is important to retain good oral hygiene to prevent any more decay or infection of the teeth.

Risks

There are not many risks associated with dental bridges, other than the bridge loosening or
cracking, in which case it will need to be refitted.