What is a bridge?
A bridge is a false tooth that is fixed into the mouth using another tooth in the mouth.
Why would I need a bridge?
A There are a number of reasons. For instance:
What does it involve?
The procedure to prepare the tooth either side of the bridge may/may not need local anaesthetic. If it does need local anaesthetic it should feel no different to a filling.
You will need to have at least 2 visits. The tooth is prepared to create the ideal shape for the bridge. The dentist will then take an impression of the prepared area, one of the opposite jaw and possibly another one to mark the way you bite together.
The impressions and information about the shade of your teeth will be given to a dental technician who will be skilled in making the bridge.
A temporary bridge may also be made until the permanent one is ready. These temporary bridges may be more noticeable, but are only in place for about 2-3 weeks.
What are the benefits?
Can have fairly long lifespans depending on excellent brushing, cleaning in between teeth and underneath the false tooth with floss or inter dental brushes, and regular dentist check-ups. Your diet and any grinding habits can also reduce the lifespan of the bridge. Uncontrolled gum disease will also affect this.
Can achieve good colour and shape match to the rest of your teeth
Are there any disadvantages?
The teeth on either side of the gap may need to be prepared, and the amount of tooth reduction can range from none to quite a lot. With any tooth reduction, there is a risk of the nerve under the retainer dying off, which may require a root canal treatment or extraction at further cost.
There can also be some sensitivity depending on how much tooth is prepared. It should settle after several days/weeks but if not please let the practice know.
No restoration is permanent or fracture proof. The bridge may fail requiring more complex/specialist treatment.