Bridges are a method used to replace missing teeth. It is a fixed solution that is reliant on adjacent teeth being used as part of the prosthesis. They provide a great option to improve aesthetics and also assist in function. The design of bridges are essential to allow a cleansable structure that can be a part of easily maintainable dentition. There are two broad main types of bridges Adhesive and Conventional Bridges.
Adhesive bridges involve the use of a metal wing on ideally one but on occasion more than one adjacent tooth to a space that requires replacing. A dental adhesive is used that provides a very strong bond to the tooth that allows a good cleansable design. This is usually a better option for anterior teeth as the forces used at the front of the mouth is less than that at the back of the mouth. Adhesive bridges involve minimal preparation of adjacent teeth and preserves tooth tissue as there is minimal or no tooth preparation.
Conventional bridges are used by reducing the adjacent tooth by certain dimensions to allow full coverage prosthesis on the tooth or teeth adjacent to a space. Theses options are better for posterior teeth as they are more resistant to the forces used in the back of the mouth. The difficulty can be the sacrifice to the tooth tissue to create the bridge but once designed with a self-cleansable design can be an excellent way to achieve a self-cleansing functional dentition.
What are bridges made of?
Bridges are usually made of porcelain bonded to precious metal. Sometimes other non-precious metals are used in the base for strength. There are also new bridges made entirely of a special type of strong porcelain.
How do I look after my bridge?
You need to clean your bridge every day to prevent problems such as bad breath and gum disease. You also have to clean under the false tooth every day. Your dentist or hygienist will show you how to use a bridge needle or special floss, as a normal toothbrush cannot reach.