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Bridgework

Dental Bridges

Dental bridges are false teeth, which are anchored onto neighbouring teeth in order to replace one or more missing teeth. The false tooth is known as a pontic and is fused in between two crowns that serve as anchors by attaching to the teeth on each side of the false tooth, thereby bridging them together. Bridges are recommended when there are one or more teeth missing that affect:

  • The shape of your face.
  • Your speech.
  •  Your smile and appearance.
  • Your bite, as a result of adjacent teeth leaning into the space and altering the way the upper and lower teeth bite together.
  •  The rates of gum disease and tooth decay as a result of food accumulated in the gap.

Missing Teeth should be replaced so that they improve your appearance, reduce the strain on the teeth at either side of the missing tooth, prevent the neighbouring teeth from leaning into the resulting gap and altering the bite and finally to prevent gum disease and tooth decay due to accumulation of food in the gap.

There are three main types of dental bridges:

1. Traditional fixed bridge

 

 This is the most commonly used type of bridge and consists of a pontic fused between two porcelain crowns that are anchored on neighbouring teeth or implants. The pontic is usually made of either porcelain fused to metal or ceramics. These are fixed and cannot be removed.

2. Resin-bonded bridges or Maryland-bonded bridges

 

These are chosen when the gap to be filled is in between the front teeth, or when the teeth on either side of the missing tooth are strong and healthy without large fillings. The false tooth is made of plastic and is fused to metal bands that are bonded to the adjacent teeth using resin that is hidden from view.

3. Cantilever bridges

 

These are opted for in areas such as the front teeth that are susceptible to lower stress. Cantilever bridges are used when there are teeth present on only one side of the space, where the false tooth is anchored to one or more adjacent teeth on one side.

Bridges may be made of;

  • Porcelain.
  • Porcelain bonded to precious metal.
  • All-metal dental bridges (gold).