A dental bridge is an artificial tooth substitute that literally bridges the gap created by a missing tooth. The bridge itself is made of two crowns fixed on either side of the gap onto what are known as the abutment teeth, supporting a false tooth in between. The false tooth, called the pontic is usually made form ceramic to give it a realistic translucent appearance.
The benefits of a dental bridge are primarily that it fills the gap left by a missing tooth preventing a whole series of further dental complications and restoring the cosmetic appearance of the teeth. This also helps to maintain the profile and shape of the patient’s face and helps to prevent any interruptions to the bite.
Bridges are fitted over the course of several appointments at the dentist which may involve some tooth recontouring allowing for the attachment of the abutment crowns. Following a series of dental moulds, the crowns and pontic will be manufactured in laboratory conditions. It is usual for the dentist to fix a temporary bridge while the manufacturing is taking place to protect the exposed contoured teeth. At the final appointment the dentist will replace the temporary bridge with the completed permanent bridge.
With a good standard of oral hygiene and regular check ups with a City of London dentist, a dental bridge can last for anything between ten and fifteen years and as technology improves the time is likely to grow even longer. After the initial fixing of the bridge the patient may experience some discomfort but this will usually wear off as the patient gets used to it. It may have a similar short-term impact on speech but this again will wear off after a few days.