What is a “bridge”?
A BRIDGE is quite literally a way of closing spaces between teeth, where teeth have been lost. Bridges are joined Crowns, supported by natural teeth.
Bridges can, in addition to all the benefits of Crowns:
- Restore your smile
- Restore the ability to properly chew and speak
- Maintain the shape of your face
- Distribute the forces in your bite properly by replacing missing teeth
- Prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position.
Bridge treatment, like crowning, also takes two visits although these visits may be longer – dependant on the number of teeth involved.
Also see our information on METAL-FREE BRIDGES.
What are dentures?
For hundreds of years, dentures have been worn to replace lost or missing teeth.
As dentures are fitted to the shape and contours of your jaw, no guarantee of stability can be given regardless of the skill of manufacture and surgery time taken. Consequently nowadays most patients ask for implants or bridges as these treatments involve the latest technologies and are securely fixed to the jaws. It may be however that a denture is worn as a temporary measure until an implant or bridge can be provided. Please refer to IMPLANTS or BRIDGES.
Dentures are made of either acrylic (plastic) or metal from an impression taken of the teeth.
A ‘full’ denture is one which replaces all the natural teeth in either the upper or lower jaw and can be stabilised by implants if required. This is especially helpful in the lower jaw.
A ‘partial’ denture fills in the spaces left by one or more lost or missing teeth. It may be fastened to your natural teeth with metal clasps or special attachments.
If I have teeth taken out, when can I have a denture fitted?
Often dentures are fitted at the same visit as the teeth are removed and these are called ‘immediate dentures’.
In preparation for this we need beforehand to take measurements and impressions of your mouth.
The advantage of immediate dentures is that you don’t have any time without teeth. What must be remembered though is that healing is still occurring and the bone and gums will shrink over time, especially during the first six months after tooth removal. Invariably therefore, immediate dentures need relining, adjusting or even replacing at some stage in the first 6-12 months if they are to be a long term solution.
Sometimes we may advise that you wait until your gums are healed before having your dentures, as this usually provides a better fit for the initial appliance. Healing may take several months.
We are happy to discuss with our patients all the options available to them.