A bridge is a fixed dental restoration used to replace a missing tooth (or several teeth) by joining an artificial tooth (Pontic) to an adjacent tooth (abutment).
Permanent bridges are indirect restorations made by technicians on models made from impressions taken by your dentist after the abutment tooth/ teeth have been prepared. Bridges can be made of porcelain, porcelain bonded to metal or gold coloured metal depending on their type and position. Typically a bridge is made by reducing the teeth on either side of a gap and then in the laboratory crowns or inlays are constructed on these teeth and an extra tooth (Pontic) is fused in the middle to permanently join the two abutment teeth. It is important that the ratio of missing teeth to abutment teeth does not exceed 1:1
Bridges are complicated restorations and make cleaning of teeth more difficult, the more teeth the bridge involves the more difficult the cleaning becomes so they should only be placed when the patientâ€™s oral hygiene is excellent because the risk of decay is high.
Bridges fall in band 3 of NHS charges; the practice provides both NHS and private bridges, whilst the fit of a private bridge is no better the technicians can spend more time fabricating the appearance to more closely match the aesthetics of the patientâ€™s teeth.