In basic terms, a bridge is a crown with an additional tooth attached. This is to replace a missing tooth and is an alternative to dentures or implants. Conventional bridges require preparation to the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth. Sometimes only the tooth behind the gap need preparation, whereas if there is a bigger gap, both the tooth behind and in front (of the gap) need preparation for additional support. The teeth would need to be prepared for the same reason as a crown:
Where conventional bridges require preparation, resin-retained bridges (also known as ‘sticky bridges’ simply stick to the teeth adjacent to the gap. Minor preparation (no injections) can be needed if there is very little space. Sometimes only the tooth behind the gap is stick to, whereas if there is a bigger gap, both the tooth behind and in front (of the gap are required for additional support.
At present, the life span of these bridges is not as long as conventional bridgework, However, it is much more preferable in most cases since there is no damage to teeth and relies primarily of cement adhesion. Our clinic tries to be at the forefront of digital and restorative dentistry and advances in cement technology mean we only use the most advanced cement to help continually prolong the length of the sticky bridge.
A dental crown/bridge requires at least two visits to the dentist to complete the treatment.
The first appointment your dentist will prepare (make the tooth smaller to allow space for the crown/bridge to fit), the dentist may also need to numb the area. We then will take an impression/3D scan of the area where the crown will be fitted and will take a note of the shade of your natural teeth to match the crown to your teeth, you will also be fitted with a temporary crown during this visit until your permanent one is complete.
The impression/scan will then be sent to our dental laboratory where our trusted dental technicians will create the crown/bridge.
During your second visit, usually 2 weeks after your initial appointment, your permanent crown/bridge will be fitted by the dentist.