If you are missing a tooth, or several teeth, it can impact everything from your appearance to your quality of life. Thankfully, there are plenty of solutions to fill in the gap – and a dental bridge is among the best.
A dental bridge can literally bridge the gap left by missing teeth to give you back your smile. It’s a tooth replacement that is kept in place by the neighbouring teeth. Bridges can also be supported by implants when extra stability is needed.
Missing teeth can cause all sorts of problems. You may become self-consious and smiling or eating in front of others. But self-confidence isn’t the only problem. The gaps left behind can also lead to other issues. You may find your other teeth start to shift, or you could find you suffer from speech issues. You may have to avoid eating certain foods and your facial structure could change, making you look older than you really are.
A dental bridge can restore your smile, support your jaw and facial structure and help you to chew and speak properly once more. It can also be a faster treatment option when compared to some other procedures for missing teeth.
A dental bridge can help by:
First of all, your dentist will consult with you about the result you are hoping to achieve, as well as taking scans of your teeth and jaw to see if a dental bridge is the best option for you.
During the procedure, your dentist will need to reshape the teeth on both sides of the gap so they anchor your bridge in place. An impression will be taken and sent to the dental lab to construct your bespoke bridge and new tooth or teeth.
In the meantime, a temporary bridge will be used to fill the gap and protect the teeth beside it. At a follow-up visit, your dentist will check that the fit is right for you before attaching your permanent bridge with dental cement.
A properly-fitted bridge lets you forget that you ever lost a tooth in the first place. They tend to last around 10-15 years on average, but proper oral hygiene habits may extent their lifespan significantly. Unlike dentures, bridges can be treated like natural teeth – so you can brush and floss to keep them clean.
Regular dental cleanings and check-ups are also essential when you have a dental bridge. As well as cleaning and polishing, your dentist will be able to ensure that your bridge continues to fit comfortably, giving you a smile you are happy with for years to come.
A bridge isn’t the only solution if you have a missing tooth, and your dentist will be able to advise you on what is right for you. If the teeth on either side of the gap aren’t able to support your new tooth, you could also consider a dental implant. Your dentist will be able to advise you of the best solution to achieve the results you want to give you back your confidence – and your smile!