At Tracey Bell, we will recommend a bridge if you are missing one or more teeth. Gaps left by missing teeth eventually cause the remaining teeth to rotate or shift into the empty spaces, resulting in malocclusion, or a bad bite. The imbalance caused by missing teeth can also lead to gum disease and Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorder.
Bridges are commonly used to replace one or more missing teeth. They basically span over the space where your teeth are missing. We cement the bridges to the natural teeth or implants surrounding the empty space. These abutments serve as anchors for the bridge. A replacement tooth is attached to the crowns that cover the teeth either side. As with crowns, you have a choice of materials for bridges. We can help you decide which to use, based on the location of the missing teeth, their function, aesthetic considerations and cost. Porcelain or ceramic bridges can be matched to the colour of your natural teeth, recreating a more natural smile.
How are Crowns and Bridges Made?
Before a bridge can be made, the teeth must be reduced in size so that the crown or bridge will fit over it properly. After reducing the teeth, our team will take an impression to provide an exact mould for the crown or bridge. If porcelain is to be used, we will determine with you the correct shade for the bridge to create an exact match of your existing teeth.
Using this impression, the dental lab then creates your bridge, in the material we have specified. A temporary bridge will be put in place to cover the prepared tooth while the permanent bridge is in progress. When the permanent bridge is ready, the temp is removed, and your new bridge is cemented over your prepared teeth.
How Long do Crowns and Bridges Last?
Bridges have the ability last a lifetime; they can, however, sometimes come loose or fall out. The most important step you can take to ensure the longevity of your bridge is to practice good oral hygiene, have a look at the basics under our Tracey Bell Dental Hygiene. A bridge can lose its support if the teeth or bone holding it in place are damaged by dental disease. Keep your gums and teeth healthy: brush with fluoride toothpaste twice a day and don’t forget to floss. Also, make sure you visit Tracey Bell for regular checkups and professional scale and polish cleanings.
Risks of Bridges
As with any elective dental treatment, there are great benefits but there may also be risks involved. Our clinicians at Tracey Bell are more than happy to discuss any concerns with you.
- Enamel reduced anchor teeth become more susceptible to tooth decay. This can be prevented by flossing and using an interdental brush to remove plaque
- There is an increased risk of gum disease. Prevent this with regular brushing and periodical professional cleaning
- The crowns on the anchor teeth may come loose and fall out while you eat. This can be a danger to be aware of: if swallowed, the large crowns can lead to severe digestive problems
- Limit alcohol content and check the alcohol content of your mouthwash. This can dissolve the cement that holds the dental crowns on the anchor teeth
- Due to the ceramic or ceramic metal fusion, the material is fragile and can fracture due to hard textured food.
- Chipping and breaking can occur
- The enamel of the natural teeth adjacent to the ceramic materials can be damaged.