Just as a real bridge is used to fill the area between two pieces of land, a dental bridge is used to fill the gap between two teeth. These gaps in the dental arc are caused by teeth lost either due to decay or accident. It can be a very embarrassing situation for patients who have a missing tooth, particularly if it is a prominent or visible one. But beyond the cosmetic damage a missing tooth can cause, there are also some very serious physiological conditions that can occur from missing teeth.
If a tooth has been lost in the front of the dental arc then it can cause the other teeth to rotate or lean into the empty space. This can turn an otherwise straight and even smile into an unattractive and crooked one. This can also be the cause of malocclusion or bite interruption that can lead to painful jaw conditions called TMJ. Vacant teeth spaces can also act as difficult-to-clean bacteria traps. This can lead to bacterial infection that can cause further tooth damage. It is therefore very important to replace missing teeth as soon as possible.
Dental bridges are fitted by London SE1 dentists using a combination of an artificial tooth, composite resin bonding and dental crowns. A crown on each of the abutment teeth on either side of the gap act as support for the new tooth which sits on top of the gum. In cases where patient’s teeth are very healthy otherwise the dentist may choose to use metal strips to attach the artificial tooth rather than dental crowns.
Dental bridges usually last for between 10 and 15 years but in some cases, when properly cared for, they can last a lot longer. Ask a dentist about dental bridges if you are suffering from a missing tooth.