A dental bridge can last for decades!
Got a gap in your smile? Maybe it's time to consider a dental bridge – and here’s why.
We had a very charming visit last week from one of our more senior patients – a gentleman called George who is in his mid-sixties and who is fastidious about his dental care. He drops in to us on the button every six months for his regular check-up.
He is a highly intelligent and most interesting man, and we’ve been privileged to have some really riveting conversations over the years. And this time, we're glad to say, was no exception.
George has two dental bridges in his upper tier, both of which are at least thirty years old. He asked us causally if he would be given this same treatment if he presented for treatment today. What he was getting at was the fact that there are new ways to replace a missing tooth these days – including dental implants – so he was wondering if dental bridges are now ‘old hat’.
There’s no doubt that many people are now gravitating towards implants, but this is not to say that older treatments like bridges or dentures don't have a part to play in the everyday life of a modern dentist.
A dental bridge – which is also known as a tooth bridge – is still doing a brilliant job for patients right around the developed world. It's used in circumstances where the patient is missing a single tooth or multiple teeth. It's important that the gap between teeth is filled pretty quickly, as otherwise the other teeth in your mouth can start to shift into the empty spaces, which can be a shortcut to big problems further down the line.
In the case of George, he had his bridges fitted back in the eighties. He’s a very dapper man, always very well turned out and with a real eye for a smart shirt and tie. He was not the kind of man, therefore, to leave a gap in his smile unattended.
And as dental implants were not in vogue back then, a bridge was a smart choice of treatment, giving greater stability and permanence than dentures, which can sometimes slip out of place at the most inopportune moments.
As to how the bridges were fitted, they spanned the two wide open spaces where George’s teeth were missing. They would have been cemented to the teeth on either side of the gaps. The teeth on either side of the gaps – known as abutments – then served as the anchors for the bridging structure.
Then, once this was in place, fabricated teeth were put in place on the ‘scaffolding’ provided by the bridge. It’s a simple principle, but one that works really well in practice. So well, in fact, that George’s bridges are still giving him great service over thirty years since they were fixed in place by his former dentist.
If you think you might like to consider bridge treatment but would like to know a little more on this topic, may we recommend the following article –