Bridges are used to replace missing teeth, and are a permanent fixture which is anchored alongside the adjacent tooth. A bridge is useful for stopping existing teeth around the gap from drifting into the open space, whilst also restoring your natural bite and functionality of your teeth.
Bridges are a great alternative to dental implants, as they are less invasive, and are also more accurate than dentures if only one tooth is missing. Bridges come in many different materials and designs, allowing for a great versatility of placement and purpose. Your dentist will consult with you upon the initial examination of your mouth, and inform you on their recommendation of which particular material or design is best suited for you.
There are several types of bridges, each one serving a different purpose within the mouth:
- Cantilever bridge, where a false tooth is anchored into the gap and attached to its adjacent teeth
- Fixed bridge, , used for larger gaps. It consists of two crowns, going over the existing adjacent teeth to hold it in place, with a false tooth covering the gap
- Adhesive bridge, where existing adjacent teeth are fixed to the bridge using what is called a wing
Two appointments are generally required for bridge procedures, and will require a preparation stage and a fitting stage, similar to porcelain veneers. Your dentist will shape and move the surrounding teeth to ensure that the bridge fits perfectly. They will then make sure that your new bridge does not affect your natural bite.