In this article, you will be given a rough guide to dental bridges, so you will know whether it is the right treatment for you.
What is a dental bridge?
In short, your dentist Bondi Junction will suggest a dental bridge if you have a single tooth or multiple teeth in a row missing.
The reason it is called a bridge is that it is held in place via a crown on the two natural teeth surrounding it. If you do not have natural teeth, your dental team may suggest a denture instead.
When secured, the teeth on the bridge will be able to bite and chew just like your natural teeth and also allow you to close any gaps in your smile too.
There are different types of bridges, and how they are made and attached differ slightly.
An adhesive bridge is a bridge that does not require the neighbouring teeth to have crowns placed on them.
Instead, they have ‘wings’ attached to their edge, which can be adhered to the neighbouring teeth using dental cement. Of course, for this kind of bridge to work, you need to have strong teeth for the wings to adhere to.
This kind of bridge is made in a dental laboratory, and the teeth will be made to match your surrounding natural teeth in colour and shape. The teeth are made from either composite or porcelain.
This is the bridge type that requires the neighbouring teeth to be crowned.
There is a limitation with a traditional bridge as few dental teams would be willing to place more than 3 teeth on them. However, if you have 3 teeth missing, then it will be right for you.
Much like the adhesive bridge, the traditional bridge is also made in a laboratory, and the teeth will be shape and shade matched.
If they are constructed and fitted correctly, dental bridges can last up to 30 years.
However, you will need to brush them and keep an eye out for signs of gum disease and tooth decay, especially if you have a traditional bridge.
As both bridge types are secured in your mouth, the only real way you can clean them is with toothpaste, flossing, mouthwash and, if needed, interdental brushes.
However, many dental teams will also advise you to see a hygienist a few times a year if you have a dental bridge so that you can keep your teeth in good condition.
Dental implants and bridges
As technology has progressed, it has become possible for bridges to be securely fitted using dental implants as opposed to crowns or wings.
However, many patients have concerns about using dental implants for bridges as this complicates the process, requiring surgery and time for the implants to fuse to the jaw.
But the advantage of using oral implants is that they are very secure, your bridge will feel more like real teeth and there will be less of an issue with oral hygiene surrounding crowns or wings.
For more information on oral implants and bridges, contact your dental team.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.