Reasons for using Bridgework to Restore Lost Teeth
Cosmetic considerations are the most obvious reasons why people opt to have bridgework made for them. Gaps left by missing teeth are unsightly, especially at the front. Lost teeth can also affect the shape of your face leading to the 'collapsed' appearance we often associate with old age.
The aging effect can also be exacerbated if the loss of teeth affects your speech.
However there are functional reasons for having bridgework as well. Without the lateral support of neighbouring teeth those that remain can begin to lean inward. This change to the 'bite profile' can be a source of tooth pain, especially when chewing. Sometimes this leaning effect can all but close the gap between the remaining teeth, but this can become a source of gum disease and decay resulting from an accumulation of trapped food.
Components of a Dental Bridge
A dental bridge is usually comprised of: a pontic or artificial tooth replacing the missing tooth with a crown on either side. We usually recommend using porcelain fused to metal to construct the bridge. However, if it will be at the front of the mouth, particularly at the top and therefore very visible when you smile we suggest you opt for Zirconium. This material has been shown to be stronger than traditional porcelain, but more importantly it reflects light in much the same way as natural teeth and therefore seems most natural when seen beside your own teeth.
Maryland or Resin-bonded bridges
This is where the artificial tooth is joined to the adjacent natural teeth by metal bands bonded to their inside surfaces and hidden from view. This type of dental bridge is generally only used restore front teeth and it is essential that the adjacent natural teeth are strong, healthy and without large fillings.
These bridges are not generally suitable for restoring teeth that will be exposed to the high levels of dynamic stress that arise through chewing. This is essentially a bridge anchored on one side only. They are used when there are strong natural teeth on one side only.
Fixed Bridges and Implantation
We fit fixed bridgework extensively in connection with implantation. The mutual support provided by the bridgework means that it can be far more stable and stress resistant than is the case with single crowns. Bridgework also enables us to set fewer implants. For example, if you were having all your teeth, top and bottom, restored using implants and bridgework we would only need to set 18 implants instead of the 28 you might imagine and this would mean a 35% on your total bill.
Fitting your Bridgework
The overall length of your stay will be one full week.
The procedure is accomplished over the course of two / three appointments. During the first we will prepare the support teeth so that the new crowns can be placed over them. When this is done we take careful impressions of the support teeth and the gap between them using a mould.
We will either ensure the colour of the new 'teeth' exactly match your own, but if you want to change anything that will be fine. We will often involve our technician in this conversation in order to ensure you get exactly what you want.
We will fit you with a temporary crowns to protect the exposed teeth and gums and this will conclude you first treatment.
The crowns we fit are all custom made you fit each individual. We have our own on site laboratory who will make your new bridgework by hand. This will take a few days. During this time you can relax and enjoy the extensive spa facilities that Heviz offers. However, very bust patients often opt to travel home and return for the final fitting the following week.
At you second appointment your new bridgework is fitted, checked for its fit and bite, and adjusted accordingly. It is then cemented into place. We like to do this at least one day before you leave us. This is because experience has shown that you will need some time to get used to the new teeth. This gives us the opportunity to check and adjust the fit.
How much does bridgework cost?
Surprisingly, bridgework costs no more than having new crowns. Each artificial tooth will cost either 190 GB Pounds if it is made from porcelain fused to metal or 290 GB Pounds if it is made from Zirconium.
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