Bridges are an excellent solution to the problem of missing teeth. Whether you have a single or multiple missing teeth it is important to replace them because the gaps left can cause the remaining teeth to shift or lean into the vacant spaces. This can cause problems with the way you bite.
As well as bite problems and aesthetic issues, missing teeth cause an imbalance that can lead to disorders of the temporomandibular (jaw) joint, excessive wear and tear of the remaining teeth and gum disease. Most of these problems can lead to further tooth loss, so a consultation regarding possible replacement is strongly recommended.
The treatment procedure
We will usually need to prepare the teeth adjacent to the lost tooth. These teeth, known as abutments, act as anchors for the bridge. The abutments will be covered by crowns with an artificial tooth attached between them to fill the gap.
Before the bridge can be placed we will need to prepare the appropriate teeth and take impressions using a soft, mouldable material. These impressions will be sent to our expert team of dental technicians who will create your bridge so that it fits all your requirements. Manufacture takes around two weeks, and until then we will provide you with a temporary bridge. When the bridge is ready you will come back to Glenfield Dental to have it fitted permanently.
What are bridges made of?
Bridges can be made from several different materials including plastic, metal alloy and ceramic. During your consultation at Glenfield Dental we will discuss each material with you, as their suitability depends on factors such as the following:
- The location of the missing tooth/teeth
- Functionality (the way your teeth bite together)
- Aesthetic preferences
- Cost and budget
Different types of bridge
There are four main types of bridge: traditional, resin-bonded (Maryland), fixed-movable and cantilever.
- Traditional bridges are the most common type of bridge. They are made up of one or more artificial units joined to two crowns placed onto the adjacent teeth.
- Resin-bonded bridges are often referred to as Maryland bridges and use metal or ceramic wings instead of crowns to hold the bridge in place. The wings are bonded to the back of the anchoring teeth.
- Fixed-movable bridges involve attaching the false tooth to an abutment on one side of the gap and a moving joint to the other. The movable joint is known as a precision attachment and is sometimes incorporated into a crown with a place for the attachment at the back so it cannot be seen.
- Cantilever bridges only use one adjacent tooth to hold them in place. These are either of a fixed design or use resin-bonded wings.
After having a bridge fitted it is important to look after it as well as you would your natural teeth, in order to prevent oral health issues such as tooth decay and gum disease. Keeping your bridge clean will ensure that it lasts for several years. Regular visits with our dental hygienists will help you to maintain a high standard of oral health.
If you have one or more missing teeth, don’t hesitate to call Glenfield Dental on 0116 287 9608 to book a consultation.