Missing teeth can detract from a nice smile, but may also lead to other problems. The teeth nearest to the gaps in your mouth will begin to drift, affecting your bite, and even causing more spaces to open up in between other teeth.
The loss of teeth can affect your facial profile, as teeth provide support to your cheeks and lips. In addition, your remaining teeth will come under more stress, and this could increase the wear and tear on them, and the likelihood of fractures. Once tooth movement occurs it can be difficult to correct, so it is important to replace lost teeth as soon as possible. A dental bridge is an easy and comfortable solution to replacing lost teeth.
Once the bridge is in position you will be able to eat and chew normally, and it will be designed to support your cheeks and lips. A well-made bridge can look very natural and is a great way to restore your smile and improve self-confidence after tooth loss.
What is a Bridge?
A bridge is designed to ‘bridge the gap’ between teeth. It does this by using the teeth adjacent to the gap as anchors or retainers. These teeth are crowned, and the crowns are attached to the replacement tooth or teeth. Each replacement tooth is called a pontic. Sometimes it will only be necessary to crown the tooth on one side of the gap, while on other occasions our dentists will need to crown both teeth so the bridge will be supported on either side. This will depend on whether you have healthy strong teeth either side of the gap, and the number of teeth to be replaced.
Bridges can be especially good if the teeth adjacent to the gaps would benefit from crowning. If these teeth are perfectly healthy, and are nicely shaped then you would be advised to consider a dental implant.
What Are Bridges Made From?
Bridges can be made from various materials, including porcelain fused to metal, where a metal substructure is covered up with tooth coloured porcelain, or they can be all ceramic, containing no metal whatsoever. Porcelain fused to a metal bridge is popular, but we find that all-ceramic bridges can give superior results, especially when replacing teeth right in the front of the mouth.
Just like the crowns we offer, all-ceramic bridges have a substructure made from zirconia. This is an incredibly strong substance and it's covered up with a special type of porcelain so the final result is an extremely strong bridge that looks very lifelike. This material is so strong it's even possible to use it for bridges replacing an entire arch of teeth.