The most common type of dental bridge our dentists use is the fixed dental bridge. This type of bridge uses your natural teeth on either side of the gap left by a missing tooth. It usually consists of 3 units, one for each of the surrounding teeth, and a unit to fill the gap in the middle. They are cemented together into place.
The Benefits of Dental Bridges
Dental bridges provide patients with a range of functional and aesthetic benefits.
Functionally, a dental bridge allows for normal eating and chewing as there is no longer a gap in your jaw. Similarly, it can help you speak easily without the altered tongue placement caused by a gap in your teeth.
Aesthetically, a dental bridge eliminates the obvious gap left behind by a missing tooth. Dental bridges are colour matched to blend in with your surrounding teeth. We have used dental bridges to boost the confidence of many patients who were lacking in self-esteem due to missing teeth.
Dental bridges can also provide long-term structural benefits for your mouth. When you lose a tooth, the gap it leaves behind can cause your teeth to gradually drift, changing position. This movement can lead to issues, such as bite problems. When you have a dental bridge, your surrounding teeth are held in place. Dental bridges also minimise your risk of bone loss as a result of tooth loss. This helps you maintain your facial structure.
Unlike dentures, dental bridges do not need removing for cleaning. You can clean them like you would your natural teeth, with twice-daily brushing and flossing. This makes bridges convenient and easy to maintain.
The Process For Getting a Dental Bridge
Once you and your dentist have determined that a dental bridge is the right option for you, you’ll usually need another two appointments. The exact number of appointments and process needed may differ slightly from patient to patient. However, generally, the process for getting a bridge looks like this:
- Your dentist will begin by numbing the area before preparing your teeth for your bridge by slightly reducing them.
- An impression or scan of your teeth is then taken and sent to our lab technician for the making of your bridge. The shade of white for your bridge is colour-matched to your natural surrounding teeth.
- A tooth-coloured temporary bridge is supplied in the meantime and bonded with temporary bonding material.
- When your permanent bridge is ready, you will have your fitting appointment during which your dentist will make any necessary adjustments.
- Finally, your dental bridge is bonded into place and polished for a smooth finish.
Taking Care of Your Dental Bridge
It is not possible to predict how long a bridge will last, but with proper care, it should serve you well. Whilst the bridge itself can’t decay, the teeth supporting it can. Daily flossing under your bridge and twice-daily brushing will help keep your bridge clean and prevent decay and gum disease.
Regular and ongoing dental check-ups are essential for maintaining your overall oral health. They also provide your dentist with the opportunity to monitor the condition of your dental bridge.
Dental Bridge FAQs
Our friendly front desk team is more than happy to answer any questions you may have. For quick reference, here are the answers to some questions about dental bridges that we get asked often:
Does getting a dental bridge hurt?
When your dentist is working on your teeth to prepare them for your dental bridge, they numb the area first. Thanks to modern-day anaesthetics and the way we administer them, you’ll hardly feel much at all. Post-treatment, when your local anaesthesia wears off, you may experience slight discomfort and sensitivity around the area. This is manageable with over-the-counter medication. If your discomfort is severe and persistent, you should contact your dentist.
How long does a dental bridge last?
The lifespan of your dental bridge ultimately comes down to how you care for it. Generally, dental bridges can last anywhere from five to 15 years. Other factors may contribute to how long your dental bridge lasts. These include where your bridge is located in your mouth, as well as the material your dental bridge is made from.
Can you get a dental bridge repaired?
Depending on the damage your dental bridge has experienced, it may be repairable. Maintaining regular dental check-ups allows your dentist to identify any potential issues with your bridge early on. Putting things off may mean needing a new replacement bridge.