Losing a tooth can be devastating. You can feel self-conscious and suffer a lack of self-esteem. Did you know that your tooth could be replaced quickly and easily with a bridge or a life like flexible denture. If you have a missing tooth or multiple missing teeth a good solution is a bridge.
Once you have a bridge fitted, you will have to take extra care during your daily hygiene regime to ensure it stays plaque free.
A bridge is a device that is used as one of the ways of replacing a missing tooth. There are two types of bridge: a conventional bridge or an adhesive bridge.
A false tooth is attached to a crown on one or both sides of a gap. It involves quite extensive drilling of the tooth [or teeth] to which the false tooth will be attached. The crowns are either made of gold, a non-precious metal, or a combination of metal and porcelain. The false tooth is usually made out of tooth-coloured porcelain.
Once the teeth have been prepared, a mould (impression) of the affected teeth is made. This is sent to a laboratory for the bridge to be made; it usually takes ten days. In the meantime, to prevent any sensitivity, a temporary bridge covers the drilled teeth.
Once it has been manufactured, the bridge will be tried in place. It may require some adjustments before it is cemented in permanently.
The advantages of a conventional bridge are that it is strong and not removable. The disadvantage is that it involves extensive drilling of the adjacent teeth.
A false tooth is attached to a wing of metal or porcelain and the wing is then glued to the adjacent tooth.
With this type of bridge there is no (or only a small amount of) drilling of the adjacent teeth. An injection is normally not required. Once the teeth have been prepared, a mould is made and sent to a laboratory which makes the bridge. The bridge usually takes ten days to make. No temporary bridge is required.
When using an adhesive bridge to replace a front tooth, the metal wing is stuck onto the back of the adjacent tooth and so cannot be seen from the front. An adhesive bridge replacing a back tooth will have metal wings on one or both sides of the gap. These may be visible if the mouth is opened wide. However new advances mean that, in some cases, we can now offer white/porcelain wings which are highly
The adhesive bridge is stuck on with a very strong glue The process requires that the teeth be dry whilst gluing.
The advantages of an adhesive bridge are that it is not removable and requires very little drilling of the adjacent teeth. The disadvantage is that it sometimes falls off (though it is easily stuck back on). An adhesive bridge might not be suitable for those who grind their teeth or who play contact sports.
A bridge is not always possible or suitable, for example if there are too many teeth missing or if the remaining teeth or gums are not healthy. In some instances, it may be best to leave a gap.
Alternative treatments to bridges include removable dentures (false teeth) or dental implants (screw-in teeth).
A denture is a removable prosthesis or appliance (complete or partial) made to replace natural teeth.
Dentures are naturally retained in the mouth due to a combination of factors. Learning to eat with artificial teeth requires considerable skill and practice. This is because every person's mouth has a different structure, which can affect the retention and stability of the denture. Also the level of suction which helps hold the denture in place, particularly the upper denture, will vary according to the amount of saliva produced. Many denture wearers find the lower denture particularly difficult to manage at first. Experience will help as will the use of a carefully selected denture fixative which can help to keep the denture in place and stable.
However well fitting the dentist has made the dentures, they can never provide the biting and chewing efficiency of natural teeth. Using a denture fixative will help to give confidence and dispel many fears about wearing dentures. Even well fitting dentures can benefit and become more stable and secure. The ingredients work together to hold the denture in place and provide a strong and lasting hold that can help to reduce the 'wobble', so eating apples, crusty bread and other foods can be enjoyed again.