What is a bridge and am I a candidate for getting one?

What is a bridge and am I a candidate for getting one?

Dental bridges replace one or more missing teeth. They consist of a false tooth/teeth and abutment teeth that support/anchor the dental bridge on each side.

What are my options when I have a missing tooth/teeth?

The options are-

  1. You can choose to do nothing, leaving a gap where the missing tooth/teeth were.
  2. Removable false tooth or teeth - A partial denture.
  3. Fixed bridge - A bridge is usually used where there are fewer teeth to replace, or when the missing teeth are only on one side of the mouth. This can be done if there are strong teeth with good bone support on either side of the gap.
  4. Dental implants - Where a titanium screw is placed into the bone and a crown placed on top. The treatment decision depends on the number of teeth missing and on where they are in the mouth and patient related factors. The condition of the other teeth also affects the decision.

What happens if I do not do anything to fix the gap in my teeth (replace missing tooth/teeth)?

The consequences could be one or more of the following:

  • Surrounding teeth may shift or move into the space where the tooth is missing
  • Missing teeth can affect speech and your ability to bite and chew
  • The long-term cost of replacing the tooth if you choose to do so
  • Alteration in the alignment of your bite
  • Food packed between teeth
  • Gum and jawbone deterioration
  • Self-conscious smile
  • Chronic jaw pain

Conclusion:

The choice of replacing missing teeth can be difficult. The fixed options are implants and bridges. When the option of placing dental implants is not feasible due to any reason, a bridge is the only other fixed option. A discussion with your dentist is the best way forward.

Although a bridge may seem expensive it will last many years. It will also improve your appearance and bite. A bridge uses the considerable skill of the dentist and technician, and in this way, it’s similar to ordering a piece of hand-made jewellery. The materials are also expensive so it's fair to say a bridge will not be the cheapest treatment you have ever had. If it is helpful for you to be able to pay for the bridge in parts, we have interest free payment plan options available.

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