What is a bridge?

A bridge is a fixed solution to a missing tooth. It is supported by one or two of the neighbouring teeth next to where there is a missing tooth. Typically bridges, can only replace a one, or maybe two tooth space. There are two main types of bridges. The first type is a conventional bridge which involves preparing the supporting tooth or teeth in a similar way to a crown preparation. The second type is referred to as a resin retained “sticky bridge”, which does not involve any preparation of the supporting tooth:

  • Conventional bridges involve drilling the adjacent teeth or tooth to a peg shape. A crown like cap is cemented onto the prepared tooth which is attached to the false replacement tooth in the gap. The false tooth may be supported by one or both sides of the space. Therefore, a conventional bridge is destructive to the supporting teeth and is subject to the same complications as crowns. This type of bridge is only considered when the adjacent teeth are strong enough to support the false tooth.
  • Resin retained bridges are made with a metal wing that is bonded to the back of the adjacent tooth. This requires little or no preparation of the adjacent supporting tooth. The main risk of a resin bonded bridge is debonding of the metal wing. If this happens it may be possible to cement this back or to remake the resin retained bridge. There is usually no damage to the supporting tooth if these bridges fail. These are most commonly used at the front of the mouth.

Frequently Asked Question’s

Can I always have a bridge to replace missing teeth?
Bridges are only possible if you have enough strong teeth with good bone support. We will help you decide which is the best way of replacing missing teeth. If a bridge isn’t an appropriate option for you, you can also consider a removable partial denture or dental implants.

What are bridges made of?

Bridges are usually made of porcelain bonded to precious metal. The porcelain allows them to be tooth coloured but the metal gives it strength. There are also new bridges made entirely of a special type of strong porcelain.

How much do bridges cost?

Costs will vary according to the size and type of bridge you need. At Church View Dental Care we will give you written estimate and treatment plan before beginning any dental treatment. Although a bridge may seem expensive it should last many years.

How do I look after my bridge?

You need to clean your bridge every day, to prevent problems such as bad breath and gum disease. You also have to clean under the false tooth every day. Your dentist or hygienist will show you how to use a bridge needle or special floss, as a normal toothbrush cannot reach.

How long do bridges last?

Bridges are generally very successful. 80-90% of bridges will last for 10 years or longer. However, 10-15% of conventional bridge supporting teeth may eventually require root canal treatment. Resin retained bridges have a similar survival rate of 80% at 10 years.