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Dental Bridges

Dental bridges

A dental bridge is a method of replacing lost teeth. It involves placing a full coverage crown or cap upon teeth on either side of the space created by the lost tooth. These teeth support the bridge and are known as abutment teeth.

A false tooth is fused in between these crowns to replace the lost tooth. It essentially involves using the strength of the teeth on either side of the space to anchor a replacement tooth.

The teeth on either side of the space will need to be trimmed in order to create space for the crowns placed on them. This can be unnecessarily invasive if these teeth are healthy and previously untouched.

If anything should affect the abutment teeth for example gum disease, or bone loss resulting in problems with stability, then the whole bridge gets affected.

It is for these reasons that most clinicians will recommend dental implants are a less invasive and superior clinical option as opposed to dental bridges. However, there are still circumstances where a bridge will be suitable. It is very much assessed on a case by case basis. Our doctors will always advise what option is best for you.

Because bridges consist of 3 or more crowns being fused together, the materials used are the same as what is used for the individual crowns. At Ashford, we use either:

  • Porcelain fused to semi-precious or precious metal
  • Full Porcelain
  • Zirconia

Please see our section on Dental Crowns to read more about these 3 materials.

Maryland Bridges

A Maryland Bridge uses the same concept as outlined above in that we use the strength of the teeth on either side to support a crown to replace the lost tooth.

The difference is that crowns or not made for the teeth on either side. Instead metallic “wings” are attached to the crown which replaces the lost tooth. These wings will be cemented unto the back surface of the teeth on either side.

This means that the teeth on either side do not need as much trimming as they would if a full crown was placed on them (like a conventional bridge). As such, a Maryland bridge is actually a far less invasive and more cost-effective option of replacing teeth.

However, because the replacement tooth is only anchored by “wings” cemented to the teeth on either side of it, the Maryland bridge is not as strong as a conventional bridge. It can really only be used in the front of your mouth and in areas where there is a lower bite force.

Ashford Dental Centre 14 Dental Bridges

Advantages

  • You will receive your bridge relatively quickly. In most cases within 1 week.
  • During the time it takes for our laboratory to fabricate your bridge (usually 1 week), you will be fitted with a temporary bridge. Thus, you will always leave our clinic with an immediate (albeit temporary) replacement.
  • The surgical placement of the implant done in the right hands is efficient, smooth and painless.

Disadvantages

  • Bridge preparation requires trimming the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth. This has the potential to cause problems with healthy, untouched teeth; in order to facilitate the replacement tooth.
  • Should anything happen to the supporting teeth for example decay, gum disease or fracture: the entire bridge fails and will need to be removed.
  • Bridges do not have the longevity and durability of dental implants
  • Bridges do not enjoy the long term clinical success rate that dental implants do

Costs and Medisave

Dental bridges are not Medisave claimable. However the cost of the bridge depends largely on how many teeth we are replacing and what type of crown material is used. We always offer flexible in house installment plans for your convenience.

Ashford Dental Centre Depositphotos_23395196_l-2015 Dental Bridges

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