Dental replacement: bridges

What is a bridge?

A dental bridge is a restoration method that involves replacing a missing tooth with the help of the neighbouring teeth. Ceramic is currently the material of choice for dental bridges. It means they don’t include metal and thus look more aesthetically pleasing. However, a precious-metal-based frame may be preferable for the back teeth, to provide more strength.

Dental bridges are considered invasive, because they require a number of supporting teeth, or abutments, and so are increasingly being rejected in favour of dental implants, which fulfil the same function of replacement without causing any damage to other teeth. They also offer better access to interdental spaces for hygiene purposes.

For those areas where aesthetics are more important, such as the front teeth, there are also what are known as ‘Maryland’ bridges. They are used to fill a toothless gap by fixing them to the concealed surface of the neighbouring tooth. They are minimally invasive, or even completely non-invasive, and offer excellent results from an aesthetic point of view. They also offer a temporary alternative to an implant for young patients whose bones are still developing.