Cosmetic Dentistry

Dental Bridges

Introduction

A missing tooth (or teeth) can be replaced with a bridge. They involve using the neighbouring teeth as support which are joined to the tooth in the centre to fill the gap.

They are done to help restore a patient’s smile and function. They are very strong restorations which are much stronger than dentures.

They can be made of full porcelain, zirconia or porcelain fused to metal.

services - bridge

Benefits

  1. Replace gaps from missing teeth in the mouth.
  2. Restore function from missing teeth, and therefore avoiding 'eating only on one side' problems. Also, enable a patient to eat with more confidence.
  3. Avoid drifting of natural teeth, which can cause parafunctional habits. This is a known complication to leaving gaps in the mouth.

Treatment Process

  1. Initial consultation
    The type of material and suitability for treatment will be determined and discussed in detail.
  2. Tooth Prep Appointment
    The teeth will then be trimmed down slightly, and an impression will be taken of the tooth to be sent to the lab.
  3. Processing of the Bridge in the lab
  4. Bridge fit check and cementation of Bridge
    The bridge will be placed and the fit and colour will be checked before the final cementation of the bridge.

    In more complex longer span cases, your dentist may decide to put you on a set of customised provisionals for an extended period of time to identify any issues that may arise during function. This is done so that any problems can be rectified prior to the final cementation of the bridge.

    Some patient who have habits like bruxism (clenching or grinding) of teeth, a splint or nightguard may need to be done after the crown to protect the bridge.

Financing

Bridges can vary in cost. It is advisable to speak to your dentist regarding the costs involved for your specific case.

FAQs

  1. What is the difference between Full Porcelain and Zirconia Bridges compared to Porcelain fused to metal (PFM) Bridges?
    PFM Bridges have an inner metal lining. This metal lining can be visible on the gum margin and becomes very obvious if gum recession occurs. The porcelain over the metal also tends to look more opaque and less ‘lifelike’.

    Full porcelain or Zirconia bridges do not have such a distinct margin should gum recession occur. They can also be made to look like natural teeth, mimicking the translucency of natural teeth.

  2. Doesn’t that mean that full porcelain bridges are more brittle than PFMs?
    Full porcelain bridges or Zirconia bridges, when shaped properly and fitted well, do have as good a success rate and strength as metal based ones. Should your case be deemed unsuitable for full porcelain bridges, alternatives will be offered to you.
  3. Are there any side effects?
    Occasionally, some mild sensitivity may be felt immediately after the treatment. This usually subsides quickly.
  4. Do they last forever?
    As the bridges are prone to wear and tear, they may need to be replaced over time. Generally, it is widely accepted that there is an 85% of survival rates within 10 years. With proper oral hygiene and care, they can even last longer.
  5. I prefer to just leave the gap there. Is it ok?
    It is very common for other teeth to drift if the gap is left there. Neighbouring teeth may tilt and drift to attempt to fill the gap. This results in a tilted tooth that can alter the way you function. Also, teeth from the opposite arch may drift downwards or upwards to fill up the gap.

    When gaps are left, it is very common for patients to want to eat on ‘the other side’. This can lead to overuse of teeth on that side, and cause more problems to those teeth. Also, muscles and jaw joints may develop imbalance issues.

  6. Am I able to remove the bridge?
    The bridges are unlike dentures and are permanently cemented in.
  7. Is the procedure painful?
    We usually numb the tooth up with local anaesthetic prior to procedure. The process is virtually pain-free during the procedure.

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