What are bridges?
Bridges replace one or more missing teeth. They consist of an artificial tooth anchored to the natural teeth on either side of the gap, or simply to one of the teeth adjacent to the gap.
If a tooth is lost through an accident or has had to be removed because it is too badly decayed, a bridge may be the treatment of choice. There are two types of bridges, one that is made indirectly by a lab and one that is made in-chair by the dentist.
In-chair bridges are a great alternative for the replacement of missing teeth; they offer a great interim solution for patients looking for an affordable way to replace front teeth than more permanent methods. The artificial tooth, or pontic, of the bridge is anchored to one or more of the adjacent teeth by a reinforced fiberglass rod. This rod is placed within fillings on the anchoring teeth; providing a comfortable, smooth finish within the mouth and extra strength for the bridge.
What happens in the long term?
Despite the fact that in-chair bridges are a compromise between cost, aesthetics, and function, they can be very stable and may last a very long time.
What happens if it fails?
A bridge may need replacing to achieve better aesthetics. At other times, if the bond to the anchoring teeth weakens, the treatment will need to be repeated or upgraded to more permanent measures.
Should you have any queries about in-chair bridges, please feel free to ask your Gentle Dentist at Mt Warren Park.
LABORATORY MADE BRIDGE
Treatment usually involves 2 visits, 3 weeks apart. During the first visit, the teeth that will be supporting the pontic will be reshaped to allow enough space to insert a crown.
Impressions will be taken which are sent to a laboratory and you will be fitted with a temporary bridge while the laboratory prepares your permanent bridge. At your second visit, the temporary bridge is removed and the final bridge is fitted and cemented to your tooth.
What is the long term prognosis?
While there is no guarantee a bridge will last a lifetime, it is one of the most stable ways to permanently replace a missing tooth. There is no formula to predict how long a bridge will protect a tooth but with good at-home maintenance and regular professional dental visits, your bridge may last many years.
Should you have any queries about bridges, please feel free to ask your Gentle Dentist at Mt Warren Park.