Dental bridges are false teeth, which are anchored onto neighbouring teeth in order to replace one or more missing teeth. The 'false tooth' on the bridge will look as though it is coming from your gum. With advanced technology and better labs nowadays it is hard to recognise which tooth is which. The false tooth is known as a pontic and is fused in between two crowns that serve as anchors by attaching to the teeth on each side of the false tooth, thereby bridging them together. The crowns on either side should last for 10-15 years, depending on the health of the tooth underneath and how well you look after them. Bridges can be as big or small as a Dentist would recommend. Bridges are recommended when there are one or more teeth missing that affect your smile and appearance, the way you bite your teeth together, your speech or the shape of your face. They can be recommended for a variety of cosmetic and also functional purposes.
What are the advantages of dental bridges?
- They are natural in appearance, depending on the material you choose.
- They have a good life period, lasting for 10-15 years, providing you maintain good dental hygiene
- They improve your appearance, bite issues and speech problems occurring as a result of missing teeth
- They restore your confidence and enable you so smile again
- They can be treated exactly as your own teeth
What are the disadvantages of dental bridges?
- Teeth become mildly sensitive to extreme temperatures for a few weeks
- They require healthy tooth tissue from neighboring teeth to be prepared
- Your teeth and gums are vulnerable to infection and soreness if proper hygiene instructions are not followed, including flossing
Here at Shine Dental, we offer a variety of different bridges
1. Traditional Fixed Bridge
This is the most commonly used type of bridge and consists of a pontic fused between two crowns that are anchored on neighbouring teeth or implants. The pontic is usually made of either porcelain fused to metal or ceramics. These are fixed and cannot be removed. The size of the fixed bridges can vary between people and Dentists' recommendations - for example, some people have a 3 unit bridge, others will have an 8.
2. Resin-bonded bridges or Maryland-bonded bridges
These are chosen, usually when the gap to be filled is in between either the front teeth or posterior teeth, or when the teeth on either side of the missing tooth are strong and healthy without large fillings. These have proved to be the most successful type of dental bridge. The false tooth is made of plastic and is fused to metal bands that are bonded to the adjacent teeth using resin that is hidden from view and is placed at the back of the tooth. This is not so much a permanent measure - people tend to opt for this type of bridge if they require an implant in later life. Another disadvantage of the Maryland is that it can sometimes provide to tooth with a grey like appearance due to the wing being attached to the back.
3. Cantilever bridges
These are opted for in areas such as the front teeth that are susceptible to lower stress. Cantilever bridges are used when there are teeth present on only one side of the space, where the false tooth is anchored to one or more adjacent teeth on one side. These would not be recommended for back teeth as they are prone to taking much more strain. Cantilever bridges are mainly for aesthetic purposes and not so much functional.
Here at Shine Dental, we offer a range of different materials for our bridges; Very similar to our crowns, most of the bridges we offer, excluding the Marlyland, are now free of metal. This gives a much more aesthetic appearance making bridges look more natural and also eliminates the possibility of an allergic reaction to metal. Unless gold is requested, the alloys contain a mixture of metals and you can develop mild gingival inflammation. This is characterised by "angry" looking gums.
Types of Ceramics to Consider
Porcelain Fused to Gold
The porcelain fused to gold crown is a type of ceramo-metallic crown. The ceramic crown is supported by a gold substructure. Through electroplating, the metal is bonded to the surface of the ground tooth in a way that it provides perfect fit, leaving no space between the tooth and the crown. Creating a perfect fit is essential to prevent later dental decay. Another advantage of this procedure is that the gold substructure is extremely thin, the porcelain cover is thicker which creates and excellent aesthetic effect. The crown is made of 98.8% pure gold that contains no additive. Using gold in this case is also beneficial because its colour compensates for the greyish shade of the porcelain, so the final colour of the replacement is like or at least more similar to the colour of a natural tooth.
Advantages of Porcelain Fused to Gold Crowns
- Perfect fit
- excellent aesthetic result
- no allergic reaction
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This patient had two 3 unit procera bridges. One on each side to restore single missing teeth.
This lady had a Maryland Wing Bridge to replace a tooth she required extracting.
This lady had a three unit procera bridge to replace a missing tooth.
In the past, crowns and bridges were traditionally made of porcelain fused to metal. Now thanks to the development of modern "all ceramics", which are incredibly strong and natural looking, there really is no need to use porcelain bonded to metal.
And in the world of all-ceramics, no-one can match the aesthetics, quality and proven track-record of PROCERA!
Procera crowns are completely tissue-friendly. Your crown, integrates beautifully with its surroundings, encouraging gum to grow back up to the tooth, as it would naturally. And because they are bio-compatible, there are no allergic reactions, no sensitivity to temperature and no impact on taste. They are precision engineered in state of the art production facilities. And they fit so well you will forget they are there. Laboratories use a unique system to subtly match your real tooth's colour and translucency so they're almost impossible to tell apart from your real teeth. You yourself can decide on the colour, texture, shape and even the tooth markings to suite your needs. Procera is the most current material to the word of dentistry and is proving to be a breakthrough in dental technology.
This patient has had an eight unit procera bridge. She has been unhappy with her teeth for years and really struggled to find anyone that could help her. Shine Dental did and she was really pleased with the results
"After years of not wanting to smile, I'm now happy to do so and wish I had visited Shine Dental much earlier. Many thanks to Dr Dee Patel and all the staff."