Dental bridges are a long lasting treatment (10–15 years) for people with single or multiple (adjacent) tooth loss. Missing teeth can dramatically affect a person’s appearance and also cause speech impediments thus affecting their self-esteem.
Dental bridges are false teeth anchored to neighbouring teeth in order to replace one or more missing teeth. The false tooth is fused between 2 crowns that act as anchors therefore holding it in place and acting to ‘bridge the gap’.
3 main types of Dental bridges:
1) Traditional fixed bridge: The false tooth is fused between 2 porcelain crowns that are anchored on neighbouring teeth. This is permanent.
2) Resin bonded bridge: These are used if the gap to be filled is between the front teeth and when the teeth adjacent are strong and healthy. Less preparation of the natural teeth is required. The false tooth is made of plastic and bonded to the adjacent teeth by metal bands all of which is hidden from view.
3) Cantilever bridge: Used for replacing front teeth and are only attached to teeth on one side.
What are bridges made from: Dental bridges:
- Porcelain bonded to precious metal.
- All metal (gold).
The procedure: Dental bridges:
- Firstly the health of your teeth and gums are assessed to check if they are suitable to support a bridge.
- If the proposed support teeth are decayed / damaged then your dentist will need to build them up to make them strong enough to support a bridge.
- Providing you teeth/gums are healthy enough, you are given a local anaesthetic and your teeth are prepared (trimmed down) so that a crown can be fitted.
- The dentist then uses a special dental putty to make an impression of the teeth and this is sent off to the lab. Using the impression the skilled lab technician custom makes your bridge so that it is perfect for you.
- Whilst the bridge is being made (about 1 week) your dentist fits you with a temporary bridge.
- On your second appointment, once you dentist is happy with the fit and quality of the bridge your new one will be cemented in place.
Factors affecting the price: Dental bridges:
- How much preparation is required prior to fitting the bridges e.g. additional fillings in adjacent teeth.
- Prices change from dentist to dentist depending on the location of the clinic.
- Bridge type used.
‘This information is intended as a guide only and should not be used as a substitute for medical information from your own doctor’