What are dental bridges?
A dental bridge literally bridges that gap created by one or more missing teeth. They are made up of two or more crowns either side of the gap, with a false tooth fused in between. The false tooth is known as a pontic and the crowns serve as anchors by attaching to the teeth on each side of the false tooth, thereby bridging them together.
When are dental bridges needed?
Bridges are recommended when there are one or more teeth missing that affect:
- Your smile and appearance.
- Your bite, as a result of adjacent teeth leaning into the space and altering the way the upper and lower teeth bite together.
- Your speech.
- The shape of your face.
- The rates of gum disease and tooth decay as a result of food accumulated in the gap.
Must missing teeth be replaced?
Yes, missing teeth must be replaced for many reasons:
- To improve your appearance.
- To reduce the strain on the teeth at either side of the missing tooth.
- To prevent the neighbouring teeth from leaning into the resulting gap and altering the bite.
- To prevent gum disease and tooth decay due to accumulation of food in the gap.
What are bridges made of?
Bridges may be made of:
- Porcelain bonded to precious metal.
- All-metal dental bridges (gold).
A temporary bridge is fitted in to protect the exposed gums and teeth. A Vita shade guide maybe used to determine the right shade for the dental bridge, by selecting a shade that resembles natural colour variations in your teeth, as well as suits your complexion, hair colour, the colour of your natural teeth and even your eye colour.
How long will dental bridges last?
Dental bridges can last 10-15 years, provided that you maintain good dental hygiene and eating habits.
What are the advantages of dental bridges?
- They are natural in appearance.
- They generally require only two appointments with the dentist.
- They have a good life period, lasting for 10-15 years, providing you maintain Good dental hygiene.
- They improve your appearance, bite issues and speech problems occurring as as a result of missing teeth.
What are the disadvantages of dental bridges?
- Teeth become mildly sensitive to extreme temperatures for a few weeks.
- They require healthy tooth tissue from neighboring teeth to be prepared.