Dental bridges literally bridge the gap created by one or more missing teeth. Gaps left by missing teeth may eventually cause the remaining teeth to rotate or drift into the empty spaces. A dental bridge is one option to replace a missing tooth or teeth using a fixed solution. It is a false tooth that attaches to your natural tooth to replace one or more missing teeth. There are two types of bridge: fixed and bonded.
This is a porcelain tooth bonded to an adjacent tooth via a hidden metal arm. It is not suitable for all situations but has the advantage that there is very little preparation of the supporting tooth to enable placement.
This bridge requires the preparation of one or two teeth adjacent to the gap. The tooth or teeth are reduced in size to allow space for the crown(s) which holds the bridge.
The Bridge is made from porcelain fused to precious metal to make it look realistic
Both bridges require some reduction in the supporting teeth, though this is much less with a bonded bridge. Impressions are taken and sent to the lab. A follow up appointment is required to fit the bridge. A temporary crown(s) may be fitted in the interim.
You must keep the bridge very clean with normal brushing and the use of special floss which can be threaded under the false tooth. Your dentist will demonstrate how to use this floss. Over the years you should expect to have the bridge replaced as shrinkage of your gums may reveal the join.
Bridges are available on the NHS but only where clinically necessary. As the appearance of front teeth is so vital there are a range of materials which enhance the appearance and these are available privately. Your dentist will give you a printed estimate and describe the options available to you.