Bridges are used to replace missing tooth. Why is this important? Because the missing tooth changes the look of your smile, your bite, and puts stress on surrounding teeth to compensate for the lost tooth teeth resulting in gaps between teeth, teeth being tilted forward and the tooth above the missing tooth space will grow (erupt) down into the tooth space. Because these teeth drift out of position, several conditions may occur;
- Severe occlusal (bite) problems that could lead to clicking of the jaw, headaches, and jaw pain.
- Hard to clean areas are created which will lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and bone loss.
- A change in facial appearance.
What are dental bridges?
When you have one or more missing teeth, then a dental bridge may be used to restore the resulting gaps. The dental bridge is basically a false tooth, beautifully created from porcelain that fills the gap and is supported by adjacent teeth or implants.
One of the most crucial skills in the placement of a dental bridge is to create the illusion that the missing tooth emerges from gum just a natural tooth. Our skills in cosmetic dentistry, gum manipulation and our in-house implantologist can combine ensure no-one will know that you ever had a missing tooth!
There are several types of bridge:
1. Traditional Fixed Dental Bridge
Here the “false tooth” is fused between two porcelain crowns to fill the gap left by a missing tooth. There are two crowns holding it in place attached onto your teeth either side of the false tooth. This type of dental bridge can be used to replace one or more missing teeth.
2. Cantilever Dental Bridge
In areas of your mouth that are under less stress, such as your front teeth, a cantilever dental bridge may be used. A cantilever dental bridge is when the “false tooth” is only supported on one side. The result is just as aesthetic but has the benefit that fewer teeth have to be treated.
3. Resin Bonded Dental Bridges / Maryland Dental Bridge
The type of dental bridge is almost always used for your front teeth. The main benefit of this type of dental bridge is that healthy teeth either side need either minimal or no preparation. The “false tooth” is fused to metal or ceramic “wings” that are bonded very firmly to the supporting or “abutment” teeth with a resin. The wings are hidden from view so that only the porcelain, which appears just like a natural tooth, is visible.
4. Implant Supported Dental bridges
Implants are the modern way to replace missing teeth. An implant is placed in the bone where the tooth root would have originally been. When it has fused to the bone it can be restored with individual crowns or, when more than one tooth is missing, with an implant supported dental bridge. Even if you have no teeth in one or both jaws, implants can be placed and an implant supported dental bridge securely fixed.