You can lose a tooth at any age through trauma, rough sports, gum disease or advanced tooth decay. The space that is left needs to be filled for the following reasons,
A missing tooth can alter your smile and appearance.
Adjacent teeth to the gap can lean into the space and alter the way the upper and lower teeth bite together.
Speech can be affected.
The shape of your face can change when you lose a tooth due to loss of bone.
Gum disease and tooth decay can occur as a result of food accumulating in the gap.
The most common ways of replacing a missing tooth or teeth are Bridges, Dental Implants and Dentures.
A Bridge is a false tooth or teeth that are permanently cemented to the natural teeth adjacent to the gap or to the natural tooth to the one side of the gap . Unlike a denture you cannot remove a bridge for cleaning, therefore it is essential to be shown the special cleaning techniques by one of our oral health advisors.
To watch an animated bridge cleaning technique click video
There are three main designs of bridge,
Traditional Fixed Bridge. This design of bridge is most commonly used when the adjacent teeth are either heavily filled or already crowned. It consists of a false tooth fused between two porcelain crowns that are anchored on to neighbouring teeth or implants.
To watch an animated traditional fix procedure click the Pictures
Resin Bonded Bridges. This design of bridge is suitable when the teeth either side of the gap are perfect or lightly filled. To reduce the amount of healthy tooth damage the false tooth is permanently cemented to the neighbouring tooth using a metal wing. These are also used to provide a semi-permanent solution prior to dental implants.
To watch an animated resin bonded procedure click the Pictures
Bridges are usually made of;
- Porcelain bonded to precious metal.
- All metal dental bridges.
The bridge design is finalised after an in depth discussion with you and after careful consideration of your specific needs.
The teeth involved in the bridge are prepared and impressions are taken which are sent to the technician, who will make models upon which a custom made bridge is manufactured to the design specified by the dentist. A temporary bridge is fitted whilst the permanent bridge is being made. Sometimes a face bow recording is used to transfer the position of the jaw to the teeth for the technician to be able to see the jaw movements more accurately. At a second appointment the temporary bridge is removed and the permanent bridge is cemented into position.
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