Dental Bridges

Missing a tooth or several teeth? We are here to help.
Bridges are a simple, effective solution for restoring function to the mouth and improving the look of your smile.

What is a Dental Bridge?

A dental bridge is a fixed prosthetic device — usually made of porcelain or ceramic — that is designed to replace a missing tooth or teeth. The bridge is fused to a metal base, resulting in a secure, durable, natural-looking replacement for missing teeth.

A Commitment to Good Dental Health

How Do Dental Bridges Work?

The procedure for a dental bridge is less invasive than dental implants and can typically be completed in two appointments. Dental bridge treatment varies based on the type of dental bridge you choose and the condition of your teeth. Generally, the steps for a dental bridge involve:

  • Consultation – At the initial consultation, your dentist will determine if you are a good candidate for a dental bridge, assess your teeth and gum health, take x-rays if needed, and decide which dental bridge type is right for you. Your dentist will take an exact model of your teeth and send it to a lab where a skilled technician will create a bridge that will offer a precise, comfortable, customised fit.
  • Treatment – At the second appointment, local anaesthesia is administered, adjacent teeth (known as abutment teeth) are prepared, and the dental bridge gets securely attached to the natural teeth on either side of the gap left behind by the missing tooth. The dental bridge is then cemented in place, leaving you with teeth that look and feel natural.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Dentist putting in a dental bridge

When Might a Dental Bridge Be Needed?

If you have a missing tooth or teeth and healthy teeth on either side of the gap, you may be able to restore health and function to your mouth with a dental bridge. You may benefit from a dental bridge if:

  • You have recently lost a tooth or teeth due to trauma, a medical condition, or tooth decay
  • You want a smile that looks healthy, radiant, and natural while also allowing you to speak clearly and eat your favourite foods
  • You want an effective way to replace a missing tooth and prevent jaw bone loss
What Are the Benefits of a Dental Bridge?

What Are the Benefits of a Dental Bridge?

Dental bridges offer benefits such as:

  • Restoring function
  • Restoring appearance
  • Protecting your bite (if the gap left by a missing tooth is not filled, it can cause the surrounding teeth to lean into the gap over time and affect the way you bite or lead to decay)

Types of Dental Bridges

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Traditional Fixed Bridges

Traditional fixed bridges are used to fill the gap between two healthy teeth. The adjacent teeth are reshaped and fitted with crowns that serve to support the dental bridge between them. This common bridge type is made from either ceramic or porcelain material fused to metal.

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Cantilever Bridges

If you have a single tooth missing in the middle or front of your teeth, a cantilever bridge is a common option. Cantilever bridges involve placing a crown on one side of the healthy adjacent tooth to support the bridge. It is rare to use a cantilever bridge on the back teeth as the force from chewing can damage the bridge.

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Maryland Bonded Bridges (Resin-Bonded Bridges)

A Maryland Bonded Bridge involves a floating tooth that serves to replace a missing tooth. Instead of completely covering the adjacent teeth, a Maryland Bonded Bridge is attached to existing teeth with metal framework. It involves less reshaping of adjacent teeth than traditional fixed dental bridges since no crowns are required.

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Removable Bridges/ Partial Dentures

While most dental bridges are permanently fixed, some individuals may be better suited to a removable dental bridge. Removable dental bridges are customised with a plastic base that matches the gums and gets secured with metal clasps to nearby teeth. Removable bridges are more affordable than dental implants or crowns but do not offer the level of durability or security provided by fixed dental bridges.

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    FAQs

    After confirming you are a good candidate for a dental bridge during a consultation, your initial procedure will consist of preparing the teeth either side of the gap. This is done by removing a 1-2mm of the enamel of the tooth to make room for a crown to be placed over them.

    A 3-D digital scan of the teeth is taken and sent to a local dental laboratory, where it is used to create a bridge that is custom-made for your mouth.

    A temporary bridge is placed over the teeth while the permanent bridge is manufactured. At the next appointment, your dentist will replace your temporary bridge with the permanent dental bridge that gets cemented in place to the surrounding healthy teeth.

    A dental bridge can also be anchored in place with a dental implant.

    Consistent oral hygiene is crucial for maintaining your dental bridge. It is recommended to brush and floss at least twice a day and see your dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings.

    When cared for properly, dental bridges can last for many years. Typically, the lifespan of a bridge is 5 to 15 years.

    A crown is a cap used to restore function to a tooth, protect a badly broken down tooth from further damage, or improve a tooth’s appearance.

    A bridge, unlike a crown, uses existing teeth to help fill in a gap left by a missing tooth. A bridge utilizes a prosthetic tooth that is anchored in the gap between the two adjacent teeth to establish a natural-looking appearance.

    Both procedures are straightforward, safe, affordable and offered by our practice. Call Chelmsford Dental today to book a consultation with one of our dentists.

    If you would like to learn more about dental bridges, please feel free to reach out to us. We would be happy to answer any questions or help you schedule a consultation.