Besides having dental implants, there are two main ways to replace missing teeth. The first is with a removable false tooth or teeth – a partial denture. The second is with a fixed bridge.
What is a bridge?
A dental bridge is usually used where there are fewer teeth to replace, or when the missing teeth are only on one side of the mouth. Most are made of a precious metal base.
What is it made of?
Bridges are usually made of porcelain bonded to precious metal. Occasionally other non-precious metals are used in the base for strength. There are also new bridges made entirely of porcelain.
Why should I replace missing teeth?
You should replace missing teeth for a number of reasons. Your appearance is one reason. Another is that the gap left by a missing tooth can mean greater strain is put on the teeth at either side. A gap can also mean your ‘bite’ is affected, because the teeth next to the space can lean into the gap and alter the way the upper and lower teeth bite together. This can then lead to food getting packed into the gap, which causes both decay and gum disease.
Can I have it fitted straight after having a tooth removed?
It can take up to 6 months for your gums to heal after an extraction. This means that you may need to have a temporary denture before the bridge is fitted.
Are bridges always an option to replace missing teeth?
You can have a bridge only if you have enough strong teeth with good bone support.
How do I care for it?
You should clean your bridge every day to prevent problems such as bad breath and gum disease. You should also clean under the false tooth every day.