A dental bridge is a fixed structure that replaces a missing tooth and relies on being retained by teeth or implants adjacent to the gap. It is important that the supports are strong enough to withstand the additional loading when part of a bridge restoration, and that the patient’s bite allows the necessary restoration. Alternative treatments are a denture or an implant retained restoration.
There are three main types of dental bridges:
These involve the preparation of the tooth or implant on either side of the missing tooth to hold a full crown that will be the supporting pillar to carry the replacement tooth between. These are the most common type of bridge and are made of either porcelain fused to metal or ceramics.
These are used when the support is only on one side of the gap.
They are also known as a resin-bonded, Maryland, or Rochette bridge. They have wings on either side of the replaced tooth which are used to bond the bridge in place. These bridges require less tooth preparation but are less secure than traditional bridges. The way a patient bites is crucial to their success.
It is important to maintain good oral hygiene to maintain the health of the supporting teeth and regular visits to the dental hygienist are recommended.
The average life span of a bridge is usually ten to fifteen years, depending on the strength and health of the supporting teeth. Occasionally these may develop an infection and require root canal treatment.
The fees for a bridge depend on the number and health of the supporting teeth, the number of teeth on the bridge and the type of material used to create the bridge. A patient would receive a full estimate before treatment after all the factors have been assessed. As a guide a three-unit bridge would about £1800.00