Dental Bridges are false teeth that are used to replace missing teeth. Unlike traditional removable dentures, a dental bridge is permanent as it's anchored to the teeth at one, or both, sides using metal bands held in place by resin or cement. They are an alternative to dental implants for those patients who do not wish to have surgery.
Why do I need a bridge?
Gaps in your teeth don't just look unappealing, they can also cause a lot of damage to the surrounding teeth, putting more pressure on them and sometimes straining the jaw. A dental bridge is used to solve this problem, usually by fixing a false tooth in the gap and using the natural teeth to anchor it, holding it in place.
How are bridges made?
Generally, it takes two appointments to prepare and fit a bridge.
During the first appointment the adjacent teeth are trimmed down slightly to accommodate their crown. An impression is taken of the area and the bridge is custom-made by a specialised lab technician according to the dentist's instructions. In this first appointment we will also determine the right shade for your bridge and fit a temporary bridge until your new one is ready.
At your second appointment, the temporary bridge is removed and the new one fitted. Your dentist will ensure the fit is comfortable and that you are happy with the appearance.
Different types of bridges
With a conventional bridge, the false tooth is anchored to new crowns attached to the teeth either side of the gap. These crowns are usually made from porcelain with the new tooth made from either ceramic or porcelain. This forms a very strong bridge that can be used anywhere in the mouth.
Resin Bonded Bridges (Maryland bridges)
This kind of bridge is made from a specially formulated, highly durable resin, and held in place with metal wings that are fixed to the anchoring teeth. They are generally more suitable for patients with small gaps at the front of their mouth, and not for spaces of more than one tooth.
These dental bridges are used where there is a healthy tooth only on one side of the gap. The bridge is anchored to one or more teeth on just one side. As a result, this type of bridge is generally only suitable for low stress bridges such as front teeth.