A bridge is a way of replacing a missing tooth or teeth by using existing teeth as supports for a false tooth or teeth. After a tooth is extracted, a period of healing (approximately 6 months), is recommended before a bridge is considered.
Bridges are usually made from a metal base on which porcelain is placed to look like a natural tooth.
There are different types of bridges, but two types are mostly used:
The teeth either side of the gap, or in some cases on one side, are prepared in a similar way to crowns. Impressions are taken at the preparation appointment and are sent to a dental laboratory where the bridge is made to look like your natural teeth. The bridge is then fixed to the prepared tooth or teeth using special dental cement.
Conventional bridges have excellent cosmetic results and can last many years. The disadvantages of conventional bridges are that support teeth can require extensive preparation which can weaken them and result in the tooth nerve dying.
Very little, if any tooth preparation is used and the bridge is cemented to the support tooth/teeth using a metal wing/wings, which have been specially treated in the dental laboratory to enable them to ‘stick’ to the support tooth/teeth.
Adhesive bridges are much kinder to support teeth as preparation is rarely necessary, they are also less expensive than conventional bridges. Adhesive bridges have good cosmetic results although they are not quite as natural looking as conventional bridges and generally have a shorter life span. They tend to be used for smaller gaps.
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