What is a Dental Bridge?

A dental bridge is one of three possible options to replace any missing tooth/teeth. The other two options are fixed permanent dental implants or removable dentures.

A bridge is a fixed option that quite literally bridges the gap left by a missing tooth or teeth. With a dental bridge, we have to reshape the teeth on either/both sides of the gap so that they can be fitted with caps/crowns which in turn are fused or linked to the false tooth. Alternatively, we can sometimes use a false tooth that has metal ‘wings’ that protrude and are bonded to the inside surface of the real teeth on either side of any gap.

As with dental crowns, we can make your dental bridge from gold alloy, porcelain bonded to precious metal, or ceramic (metal free).

A dental bridge can provide a long-term solution to tooth loss, depending on your individual case. As it involves the need to reshape the teeth on either or both sides of a gap, a dental bridge is now sometimes considered old fashioned. It is more destructive because it often involves removing healthy tooth tissue on either of the neighbouring real teeth and so it isn’t always necessarily the ‘most conservative’ option. The two alternative options to replace any missing tooth or teeth are either a dental implant or a removable denture and in general these days, dental implants tend to be favoured over dental bridges to replace missing teeth.

What happens during my bridge appointments?

If we decide between us that a dental bridge would be your best treatment option, you will need to come into Kenilworth Dental Practice for a minimum of 2-3 appointments.

During your first appointment, we will prepare your teeth for the bridge and take impressions for the dental technician so that they can make a custom made restoration that’s perfectly matched to your surrounding natural teeth and sits in place properly. At the first appointment, we’ll also try to fit you with a provisional (temporary) bridge, but this is not always possible.

Once your final dental bridge is made by our lab, you’ll need to come back to the practice to have it fitted at a second appointment. If you need to attend further appointments for any reason, we would discuss this with you during the treatment planning.

Dental bridges need to be well maintained with a good oral hygiene routine. Our hygienist can show you how to best clean your fixed dental bridge to maximise its life.