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Dentist industry terms such as ‘dental bridge’ or ‘crown’ may conjure up images of the golden gate bridge or jewel-laden headwear! Needless to say, these are not accurate depictions! That said, a dental bridge does ‘bridge’ or more, fill a gap, and a dental crown does sit on top of a tooth. Let’s dive into what exactly a dental bridge is, why you might need one and how it compares to a dental crown. We’ll look at what’s involved with the procedure, and why you may choose one over the other. 

Why might you need a dental bridge?

During our lifetimes there are many reasons why we may lose a tooth. It could be due to poor oral health such as gum disease, or a wider health condition like osteoporosis. These unfortunately become more common as we age. The loss of a tooth could also be down to an injury or trauma to the mouth. 

Whatever the cause, a missing tooth can be bothersome, unsightly and can have a detrimental effect on our daily lives. You may experience movement of your other teeth as they try to close the gap. This can cause pain and even result in misalignment. Which is where a dental bridge comes in. A dental bridge is a tooth replacement option which will fix or prevent the aforementioned issues. Along with dentures and implants, a bridge is a way of replacing a missing tooth or multiple teeth. Whilst a denture is removable, dental implants and bridges are fixed, long-lasting solutions.

How do dental bridges work?

Dental bridges tend to be made from a ceramic material and have a completely natural look. As well as being visually pleasing, a bridge works to retain your teeth’ alignment and eliminates any discomfort you may have experienced from having the gap. Whether your bridge is filling a single tooth gap or several, it relies on support from the teeth on either side to fix it in place. Bridges work in conjunction with crowns which ‘cap’ those teeth on either side of the gap.

Having a bridge made and fitted takes just two or three appointments, making it one of the speedier options in terms of treatment times. Generally, the first appointment of the procedure would involve the preparation or ‘conditioning’ of the adjacent teeth and taking a scan or an impression. Your prosthetic teeth are then made over the course of a few weeks, sometimes less, and you return for a second appointment where your bridge is fitted. Typically, you are good to go once your newly made bridge and crowns are installed, though occasionally we may ask you to come back for a third appointment, say for example, if the dentistry is more complex. 

Do I need a dental bridge or a crown?

Using our experience, we work with clients to compare ​​different dental treatment options before they go ahead. In the instance of a completely missing tooth or teeth, the choice tends to be a bridge or a dental implant. Dentures are an economical option but a bridge or implant has the advantage of comfort. 

Crowns, on the other hand, are generally used as a way of repairing damage to a tooth. Crowns sit on top of a prepared natural tooth working to protect and strengthen it. This kind of treatment is used for a wide range of reasons such as for root canal completion, or, as mentioned, as part of a dental bridge where crowns are present on either side of a gap in order to provide support. They look and function just like natural teeth and are long-lasting too.

At N6 Dental Platinum in Highgate, we will work with you to address the pros and cons of crowns, dental bridges and implants. Taking into account your unique needs as well as your preferred procedure method, timescale, outcome and budget, we will find the perfect solution to restore and maintain your smile.

How long do dental bridges last?

With good maintenance and care, a dental bridge can last 15 years or more! The replacement teeth that form the bridge are fixed and made from ceramic, making them tough enough to withstand day-to-day activities and usage. 

At your treatment appointments, our experienced and knowledgeable team will talk you through the best ways to care for your dental bridge. We will advise you on how to ensure your bridge lasts. From daily brushing tips and techniques to regular dentist check-ups, ensuring good oral hygiene is the top way to ensure your dental bridge works for you for several years.

Don’t suffer with a gappy smile any longer, talk to us about tooth replacement options by calling our friendly team on 020 4512 4766.

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