Like an implant, a bridge offers a non-removable replacement of a missing tooth. Broadly speaking there are two types of bridge. Originally the only option was a ‘conventional bridge’ but newer technologies have allowed the development of ‘resin retained bridges’, these are sometimes called ‘Maryland bridges’.
A conventional bridge is essentially a number of crowns that support one or more additional teeth. The supporting teeth must be ideally shaped to support the bridge, we achieve this by drilling the teeth in a similar manner to preparing them for a crown.
Conventional bridges are more commonly indicated when the supporting teeth have already had large fillings placed, as covering those teeth can make then stronger. However, in healthy teeth with no fillings this process can be unnecessarily destructive due to the drilling of healthy tooth tissue.
Bridges can be fabricated from a range of materials. The most time tested of which is gold, through to cutting-edge ceramics. Modern ceramics achieve the excellent aesthetic results that our patients increasingly desire.
Bridges are made of inert materials that do not deteriorate over time. However, the underlying tooth is still prone to decay and gum disease. Ceramic layers can chip or fracture, but this is virtually unheard of with the most modern materials.
We will give you special instruction in how to care for your bridge. Special methods of brushing and flossing are often required.
As always, regular check-ups are essential and will enable your dentist to detect any problems in their early stages.
A resin-bonded bridge will fill in an unsightly gap but without the tooth destruction often caused by a ‘conventional bridge’ preparation. They are supported by a wing on the inside of the mouth, that holds the false tooth (pontic) in place. This technique works better at the front of the mouth but requires the supporting teeth to be in a good condition.