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Dental Bridges replace missing teeth and maintain your beautiful smile. They typically consist of an artificial tooth fused between two crowns, bridging a gap created by tooth loss.

At Cirencester Dental and Aesthetics we will recommend the best type of bridge for your individual need.

Why would I need a Dental Bridge?

The main reason to have a dental bridge is to replace single or multiple missing teeth, the benefits to this are:

  • Hiding an unsightly gap
  • Prevent teeth tilting into a gap
  • Supporting your bite when chewing
  • Making it easier to form certain speech sounds
  • Improving the appearance of your smile
  • They are fixed onto the teeth
  • More natural feel compared to dentures

What types of Dental Bridge are available?

There are four types of bridge and at Cirencester Dental and Aesthetics your dentist will advise you on the most suitable type; taking into consideration comfort, longevity, and the health of the remaining teeth.

  • Traditional Bridges: These are where the false teeth are held in place using crowns fixed onto the natural teeth on both sides of the gap. The teeth neighbouring the gap need to be shaped to have crowns placed over the top of them, and the Dental Laboratory will construct the bridge with the false teeth joined onto these supporting natural teeth.  This may mean removing healthy tooth enamel, but will strengthen the support teeth if they are already filled.
  • Cantilever Bridges: This is similar to a traditional bridge but only the teeth to one side of the gap are shaped to hold the false tooth in position. It is more conservative than shaping both sides, but is dependent on the position and force of the bite to prevent unwanted tipping or fracture of the support side.
  • Adhesive/Maryland Bridges: These false teeth are held in position by metal or ceramic ‘wings’ that are fixed onto the adjacent teeth using a strong adhesive. These ‘wings’ wrap around the back surface of the support teeth, sometimes not needing any shaping of the enamel. They rely on modern adhesive resin cements to grip the tooth surface, so are a good option to avoid shaping healthy teeth. The adhesive resin can be weakened by strong bite forces, particularly on the back teeth, and so this type of bridge is mainly used on the front teeth.
  • Implant-Retained Bridges: Where lots of teeth are missing and leave a large gap, there is a risk of overloading the remaining natural teeth by placing too many false teeth between them. In these cases, Dental Implants can be placed to act as supports for a bridge. Dental Implants can be placed into the bone at either side of a gap and, once fully healed, a traditional bridge can be made using the implants as secure supports. This is a good option for large gaps where a fixed solution is needed, and where placing an implant for each missing tooth is cost-prohibitive.

What materials are used to make Dental Bridges?

The choice of materials available when making a bridge is the same as when we make a crown, we will choose the most suitable material, taking into account your preference.

What can I expect from the treatment process?

Bridge treatment normally requires two or three visits. During the first appointment, the teeth on either side of the gap are shaped for the support crown or wing. Then your dentist will take putty impressions of your teeth, record the colour of the teeth and the way they bite together. The impression details are then sent to our preferred Dental Laboratory where we usually expect a two week processing period before your new custom-made bridge is returned to us. In the interim, you will be fitted with a temporary bridge to protect any exposed teeth and gums. If you had an existing denture then this would be worn as usual until the next visit.

We will schedule the second appointment for you to come in and have your bridge fitted. We check for a good fit onto the supporting teeth, that the appearance is satisfactory, and that it feels even when you bite together. If all is satisfactory, then your dentist will securely chemically bond the bridge into place using adhesive cement. If minor adjustments are required, your dentist may fix the bridge with temporary adhesive at first to confirm that the bridge fits properly, and then cement in permanently in place at a third and final visit. If major adjustments are required then we may need to return the bridge to the Dental Laboratory for re-finishing, and then check the fitting at a further visit.

How do I look after my Bridge?

With proper care and good oral hygiene habits, Dental Bridges can last upwards of 10-15 years. Because they are fixed in place, there is little danger of the bridge being accidentally dislodged during normal activities, but through wear and tear or direct trauma this can happen; in most cases we can re-attach the bridge onto the supporting teeth again. Like any fixed dental appliance, care must be taken to clean the area beneath and around the bridge to prevent plaque and tartar from trapping onto the neighbouring teeth and gums. We will show you the best way to take care of your new bridge so that the support teeth remain free of decay or gum disease, and stay healthy along with the rest of your smile.

If you are interested in learning more about Dental Bridges as a solution for missing teeth, our team are always happy to guide you.

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Cirencester Dental & Aesthetics

42a Querns Lane, Cirencester, GL7 1RH

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Contact 01285 653 251