Bridges

A dental bridge replaces a missing tooth or teeth.

 

It is a fixed option (stays permanently in your mouth) for replacing the gap.

Dental bridges literally bridge the gap created by one or more missing teeth. The classic bridge consists of two crowns on the teeth either side, attached via a pontic, or “dummy tooth” in the middle.

What can I expect once I have made the decision to go ahead with bridgework?

Visit 1

During this visit we firstly numb the area to be worked on.

The appointment generally lasts 90 minutes depending on the number of teeth that need to be prepared. Impressions are taken together with a shade of the neighbouring teeth (this is done in order to match the colour of the bridgework as close as possible to your natural teeth).

Provisional crowns are then constructed which will be placed over the prepared teeth (provisional crowns protect your teeth in the interim while we wait for the dental technician to hand-craft a custom bridge to fit precisely over your natural teeth).

Visit 2

The provisional crowns are firstly removed. The supporting teeth are then cleaned and the bridge is tried in the mouth for fit, colour and comfort.

Once all the parameters are met, the bridge is permanently cemented onto the teeth.

It takes about 24 hours for the dental cement to fully set, so you should avoid chewing on that side of your mouth for 24 hours.

What are the Advantages of having a Dental Bridge?

Natural appearance
With a fixed bridge, not only do we fill the space of the missing tooth, but we also can improve on the colour and shape of the neighbouring teeth that are being crowned on either side. The materials used in the construction of a fixed bridge are usually porcelain. Porcelain looks great, matches the natural teeth beautifully and is very resistant to staining.
Fixed/Not removable
A bridge is fixed in your mouth- you don’t have to worry about removing it for cleaning like with a partial denture. It doesn’t extend onto the palate or tongue space so it feels quite natural. It is however important to look after it by following the special cleaning advice for bridges.
Protective
If the teeth on either side of the gap are heavily filled or broken down, then by crowning them as part of the bridge, you are actually helping to strengthen them as well as replacing your missing tooth at the same time.
Durable
Fixed bridgework, like individual crowns, is durable and long lasting.
Relatively quick
A bridge in general takes only a little longer than a single crown (depending on the size and type of the bridge) and once the decision to make a bridge has been made it takes just two appointments from start to finish. The time between the first and second visit is around 7-10 days. This is a much quicker procedure than having an implant placed or even a partial denture constructed.
No surgery is required
Implants require a surgical procedure in order to place the titanium fixture into the jaw bone. Bone grafting may also be required if insufficient natural bone is available.

What are the Disadvantages of having a Dental Bridge?

Damages the neighbouring teeth
If the neighbouring teeth are free of any restoration or decay, the preparation does damage them as a substantial amount of tooth structure is required to be removed to prepare for the bridge. However, where a tooth has already been heavily filled, this can actually have a protective measure.
Possibility of damaging nerves
When teeth are prepared for a bridge, in 15% of cases, they lose vitality (i.e. the nerve dies) after 5 years and will require root canal treatment in the future. That is of course assuming a root canal has not already been carried out.
Expensive
There is a lot of work involved both by the dentist and the technician in creating a bridge.  The highest quality Australian Made materials are used under stringent quality control and infection control measures which results in increased costs.
A long initial appointment
The procedure for preparing the teeth for the bridge is relatively long. The first appointment takes about one to one and a half hours depending on the size and position of the bridge to be constructed. The second appointment takes about half an hour.
Difficulty cleaning
The dummy tooth can be a source of trapping food so extra attention is needed to keep the underside of the bridge nice and clean. You cannot floss the fake tooth the normal way since it is rigidly joined to the teeth either side. Super floss or interdental brushes are useful tools in keeping the bridge clean.
Address
Suite 11/40-42 Montgomery St
Kogarah NSW 2217



P: (02) 9588 2200


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