Dental bridges are a permanent, fixed replacement for one or more missing teeth. The teeth on either side of the gap may be prepared by your dentist and the replacement teeth are bonded to these teeth, in other words, ‘bridging the gap.’
Basic bridges are metal, but for a more natural look, the metal can be covered in a thin layer of porcelain, which gives the bridge a more natural appearance. Otherwise, the bridge can be handmade entirely from porcelain by a skilled dental technician, with the end result that it is almost indistinguishable from the real thing.
Bridges are usually used where there are fewer teeth to replace or when the missing teeth are only on one side of the mouth. An impression is taken of the mouth, and exact plaster models of the upper and lower teeth and gums are made. The teeth that will support the bridge are then prepared. A second impression is then taken to build the bridge to the exact size and shape. While the bridge is being made, a temporary plastic bridge or crown may be fitted. When the bridge is ready, it will be fitted and small adjustments made to ensure a comfortable bite is maintained.
Following the fitting, additional and regular oral hygiene care is required. If it is well looked after, a bridge can last for many years.