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Prestwich Dental Clinic

Dental Bridges

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Dental Bridges For Lost Teeth

Dental bridges replace a lost tooth or lost teeth. A traditional bridge requires the teeth either side of the gap to be filed down, as it would be for a crown. A bridge is then made with multiple teeth and it is cemented into place. These are a good option for missing teeth especially when the teeth either side of the gap have previously had large fillings or crowns. Call our caring team on 0161 773 7080 today.

Dental Bridges

As with crowns, these can be metal inside with porcelain on top, all ceramic or zirconium. Having dental bridges made where you had a missing tooth will mean you don’t have to consider a denture and will be able to smile, speak and chew with confidence and comfort. Other options are a Maryland bridge. This replaces a missing tooth with very little filing down of the teeth either side. It is attached with a metal wing behind the adjacent tooth.

Alternative Dental Bridges

A porcelain bonded metal bridge is a good solution for a missing tooth. However, under some lighting conditions, the metal in the bridge can make the teeth look dull. An alternative is for the bridge to be made of solid porcelain. This will give a more natural look to the teeth. An adhesive bridge is non-destructive. A bridge is prepared and ‘stuck’ to the inside of the adjacent teeth.

Dental Maintenance Plans

We offer a comprehensive membership plan which provides many benefits as well as 20% off treatment* and starts from as little as £9.99/month adults/£5.99/month children – please ask at reception or call us at 0161 773 7080

Dental Bridges Prestwich, Manchester - FAQs

What Are Dental Bridges, and How Do They Work?

Dental bridges are a common and effective solution for replacing missing teeth, restoring both the functionality and appearance of the patient’s smile. Comprising one or more prosthetic teeth, known as pontics, dental bridges are anchored in place by adjacent teeth or dental implants, serving as a literal ‘bridge’ across the gap left by missing teeth.

Components of Dental Bridges

The typical dental bridge consists of several key components that work together to replace missing teeth and restore the patient’s dental health.


Pontics are the artificial teeth that fill the gap created by one or more missing teeth. Made from materials such as porcelain, ceramics, or composite resin, pontics are designed to mimic the appearance and function of natural teeth.


Abutment teeth are the natural teeth or implants on either side of the missing tooth gap that serve as anchors for the bridge. These abutment teeth are usually prepared by reshaping to ensure a proper fit for the bridge.


Most dental bridges involve placing crowns on the abutment teeth. These crowns provide additional support and stability for the bridge, ensuring it remains securely in place.

Types of Dental Bridges

There are several types of dental bridges, each designed to accommodate different dental needs and situations.

Traditional Bridges

Traditional bridges are the most common type of bridge and are used when there are natural teeth on both sides of the gap left by the missing tooth or teeth.

Cantilever Bridges

Cantilever bridges are used when there are adjacent teeth on only one side of the missing tooth or teeth. This type of bridge is less common and typically not recommended for areas of the mouth that experience a lot of stress, such as the back teeth.

Maryland Bridges

Also known as a resin-bonded bridge, the Maryland bridge is often used to replace front teeth. This type of bridge uses metal or porcelain wings on one side of the bridge that are bonded to the existing adjacent teeth.

Implant-supported Bridges

Implant-supported bridges are used when there are multiple teeth missing. This type of bridge is supported by dental implants rather than being anchored to natural teeth. It provides a more stable and permanent solution.

Benefits of Dental Bridges

Dental bridges offer several benefits, making them a popular choice for those looking to replace missing teeth.

Restoration of Smile and Functionality

By replacing missing teeth, dental bridges restore the patient’s ability to chew properly and speak clearly, while also bringing back the aesthetic appeal of their smile.

Prevention of Dental Shifts

Empty spaces left by missing teeth can lead to the shifting of remaining teeth, resulting in bite problems and a change in facial structure. Dental bridges help prevent this by filling the gap.

Long-lasting Solution

With proper care, dental bridges can last many years, providing a durable solution to missing teeth.

Dental bridges are a reliable and effective method for replacing missing teeth, offering both functional and cosmetic benefits. By understanding the types of bridges and how they work, patients can make informed decisions about their dental care options.

Dental bridges are a vital solution for replacing missing teeth, and there are several types designed to accommodate different dental needs. Understanding the types of dental bridges available can help patients make informed decisions about the best option for restoring their smile and oral functionality.

Traditional Bridges

Traditional bridges are the most commonly used type of dental bridge. They consist of one or more pontics (false teeth) and are held in place by dental crowns that are cemented onto the abutment teeth adjacent to the gap. Traditional bridges are a durable option, typically made from porcelain fused to metal or ceramics, and are suitable when the patient has healthy teeth on both sides of the gap.

Benefits of Traditional Bridges

Traditional bridges offer a reliable, long-term solution for replacing missing teeth, restoring both functionality and aesthetics. They are particularly effective when the surrounding teeth require crowns or already have fillings.

Cantilever Bridges

Cantilever bridges are similar to traditional bridges but are used when there are adjacent teeth on only one side of the missing tooth or teeth. This type requires only one natural tooth next to the gap, onto which the crown is cemented to support the pontic.

Considerations for Cantilever Bridges

While cantilever bridges can be an effective solution in certain situations, they are not recommended for areas of the mouth that experience high biting force, such as the back teeth, due to the potential for increased stress on the supporting tooth.

Maryland Bridges

Maryland bridges, also known as resin-bonded bridges, involve a pontic that is held in place by a metal or porcelain framework. This framework is bonded onto the back of the two adjacent teeth. Maryland bridges are less invasive than traditional bridges, as they usually do not require the adjacent teeth to be filed down.

Advantages of Maryland Bridges

This type of bridge is often used to replace front teeth and is ideal for patients who are looking for a less invasive option that preserves the structure of the adjacent teeth.

Implant-supported Bridges

Implant-supported bridges are considered the most stable and durable option for replacing missing teeth, especially when more than one tooth is missing. Instead of being supported by crowns or frameworks, these bridges are anchored to dental implants. One implant is placed for every missing tooth, and the bridge is then secured to these implants.

Benefits of Implant-supported Bridges

Implant-supported bridges provide a solution that closely mimics natural teeth in terms of look, feel, and function. They are a strong, stable option that can help prevent bone loss in the jaw, preserving facial structure.

The choice of dental bridge depends on several factors, including the location of the missing tooth or teeth, the health and stability of adjacent teeth, and patient preference. Each type of bridge offers distinct advantages, and discussing these options with a dental professional can help patients choose the most suitable solution for their needs.

Dental bridges and dental implants are both effective solutions for replacing missing teeth, but they differ significantly in terms of structure, procedure, and suitability for different dental conditions. Understanding these differences can help patients make informed decisions about the best option for restoring their smile.

Definition and Structure

Dental bridges are prosthetic devices that “bridge” the gap created by one or more missing teeth. A bridge is made up of two or more crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap (the abutment teeth) and a false tooth/teeth in between. These false teeth, known as pontics, can be made from a variety of materials such as gold, alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials.

Dental implants, on the other hand, are titanium posts that are surgically implanted into the jawbone beneath the gum line. Once in place, they allow your dentist to mount replacement teeth onto them. Because implants fuse to your jawbone, they provide stable support for artificial teeth.

Procedure and Timeframe

The procedure for installing a dental bridge is typically quicker and less invasive than that for a dental implant. Bridges can be installed in two visits over a few weeks. The first visit involves preparing the abutment teeth for crowns and taking impressions, and the second visit involves fitting the permanent bridge.

Dental implants require a surgical procedure to implant the titanium post into the jawbone, followed by a healing period that can last several months to allow the implant to integrate with the bone. Once healed, an additional procedure is performed to place the crown onto the implant.

Impact on Surrounding Teeth

Dental bridges rely on the adjacent teeth for support. This means that the natural teeth need to be filed down to fit the crowns that will hold the bridge in place. Dental implants, however, do not affect the surrounding teeth. Instead, they are inserted directly into the jawbone where the tooth root would have been, preserving the health of adjacent teeth.

Longevity and Care

With proper care, both dental bridges and implants can last many years. However, implants often provide a more permanent solution and can last a lifetime with good oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups. Bridges, while durable, may need to be replaced every 5 to 15 years, depending on care and wear.

Considerations for Choosing Between Bridges and Implants

The choice between a dental bridge and an implant often depends on several factors, including the patient’s general health, the health of the jawbone and surrounding teeth, and budget considerations. Dental implants require sufficient bone for placement and are generally more expensive than bridges. However, they offer a more natural look and feel and do not require alteration to the adjacent teeth.

Dental bridges and dental implants offer different advantages for replacing missing teeth. The choice between them should be based on a thorough discussion with a dental professional, considering the patient’s specific dental health, needs, and preferences.

The materials used in the construction of dental bridges are chosen for their durability, strength, and aesthetic appeal. The selection of material often depends on the location of the missing tooth, the function of the bridge, the patient’s budget, and aesthetic preferences. Here’s an overview of the most commonly used materials in dental bridges.


Porcelain is widely favoured for its ability to mimic the natural appearance of tooth enamel. It reflects light in a similar way to natural teeth, providing a highly aesthetic solution. Porcelain can be used alone or bonded to a metal framework for added strength. Bridges made entirely of porcelain are most often recommended for the front teeth, where the stress of chewing is lower and the need for a natural appearance is higher.

Advantages of Porcelain Bridges

Porcelain bridges offer excellent aesthetic results and are well-suited for individuals with metal allergies. However, they may wear down opposing natural teeth more than metal or resin bridges if not properly adjusted.

Porcelain Fused to Metal (PFM)

Porcelain fused to metal bridges combine the strength of metal with the aesthetic appeal of porcelain. A metal core provides strong support and durability, while a porcelain exterior is crafted to match the colour of the surrounding teeth. PFM bridges are a popular choice for both front and back teeth due to their balance of strength and appearance.

Considerations for PFM Bridges

While offering good aesthetic and functional qualities, the metal under the porcelain cap of a PFM bridge may sometimes become visible along the gum line, especially if the gums recede over time.

Metal Alloys

Metal alloys, including gold, palladium, nickel, or chromium, are known for their exceptional strength and durability. Metal bridges are highly resistant to wear and fracture, making them an excellent choice for back teeth where the forces of chewing are greatest.

Benefits of Metal Alloy Bridges

Metal bridges cause less wear to the opposing teeth than porcelain or porcelain fused to metal. They are also well-tolerated by gum tissues, making them a durable and long-lasting option. However, their metallic colour is the main drawback for use in highly visible areas.

Zirconia and Other Ceramics

Zirconia and other advanced ceramics offer an attractive blend of strength and aesthetics. Zirconia, in particular, is known for its excellent durability and can be colour-matched to the surrounding teeth, making it a popular choice for dental bridges.

Advantages of Zirconia Bridges

Zirconia bridges combine the aesthetic qualities of porcelain with the strength closer to metal, providing a highly durable and visually pleasing option. They are particularly suitable for patients looking for a metal-free restoration.

The choice of material for a dental bridge involves considering various factors including aesthetic desires, the location of the missing tooth, and budget. Discussing these options with a dental professional can help ensure the selection of the most appropriate material for each individual’s needs.

One of the primary concerns for patients considering a dental bridge is whether it will blend seamlessly with their natural teeth in terms of colour, shape, and size. The good news is that dental bridges are custom-designed to match the patient’s existing teeth, ensuring a natural and cohesive appearance.

Customisation Process

The process of creating a dental bridge involves several steps that are tailored to ensure the final prosthetic matches the patient’s natural teeth as closely as possible.

Colour Matching

The dental professional uses a shade guide to select the colour of the porcelain or ceramic used in the bridge. This selection process ensures that the bridge matches the colour of the adjacent natural teeth. The goal is to create a restoration that looks indistinguishable from the patient’s own teeth.

Shape and Size

In addition to colour matching, the dental laboratory fabricates the bridge to replicate the shape and size of the missing tooth or teeth. Impressions or digital scans of the patient’s teeth are used to guide this process, ensuring that the bridge not only fits perfectly but also complements the overall appearance of the smile.

Technological Advances

Advancements in dental technology have greatly improved the precision with which dental bridges can be matched to existing teeth. Digital imaging and computer-aided design (CAD) technology allow for highly accurate modelling of the bridge, further enhancing its fit and appearance.

Materials for Aesthetics

The materials used in dental bridges, such as porcelain and zirconia, possess translucency and reflective properties similar to natural tooth enamel. This contributes to the lifelike appearance of the bridge, making it difficult to distinguish from natural teeth.

Maintaining a Natural Appearance

While dental bridges are designed to closely match natural teeth, maintaining their appearance over time also depends on proper care and hygiene. Regular dental check-ups, good oral hygiene practices, and avoiding habits that can damage dental restorations help ensure the bridge remains in good condition and continues to blend well with the natural teeth.

With the customisation options available today, dental bridges can be made to closely match the patient’s existing teeth in colour, shape, and size, providing a natural-looking solution to missing teeth. Discussing expectations and preferences with the dental professional can help achieve the best possible outcome for the patient’s smile.

The longevity of a dental bridge is a key consideration for patients looking to replace missing teeth. While dental bridges are a durable solution, their lifespan can vary based on several factors including the type of material used, the location of the bridge, the health of the surrounding teeth, and the patient’s oral hygiene practices.

Average Lifespan of Dental Bridges

On average, dental bridges can last between 5 to 15 years, and even longer with good oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups. The variance in lifespan is largely influenced by the wear and tear the bridge is exposed to, as well as how well it is maintained.

Factors Influencing Lifespan

Several key factors can affect the durability and longevity of a dental bridge:


The material from which the bridge is made plays a significant role in its longevity. Porcelain fused to metal (PFM) bridges and metal alloy bridges tend to offer greater durability compared to all-porcelain bridges. Zirconia and other advanced ceramics are also known for their strength and can provide a long-lasting solution.

Oral Hygiene

Good oral hygiene is crucial for extending the life of a dental bridge. Regular brushing, flossing, and the use of an antiseptic mouthwash can help prevent issues such as decay and gum disease, which can undermine the support structures of the bridge.

Dental Check-ups

Regular dental check-ups allow for the early detection and treatment of problems that could affect the longevity of the bridge. Professional cleanings also help to remove plaque and tartar build-up that could lead to decay and gum disease.

Bite and Jaw Habits

Patients with habits such as clenching or grinding their teeth (bruxism) may experience additional stress on the bridge, potentially reducing its lifespan. The use of a night guard may be recommended to protect the bridge and surrounding teeth.

Maintaining Your Dental Bridge

Proper care and maintenance are essential for maximising the lifespan of a dental bridge. In addition to maintaining good oral hygiene and attending regular dental check-ups, patients should avoid chewing hard foods, ice, or other hard objects that could damage the bridge. It’s also important to avoid using teeth as tools, which can place undue stress on the bridge.

While dental bridges are a durable solution for replacing missing teeth, their lifespan can vary. By understanding the factors that influence the longevity of a bridge and committing to good oral hygiene and regular dental care, patients can ensure their dental bridge remains in good condition for as long as possible.

Getting a dental bridge is a multi-step process that involves preparation, custom design, and fitting to replace missing teeth effectively. The process is carefully structured to ensure the bridge fits perfectly, matches the appearance of natural teeth, and restores functionality. Here’s an overview of the steps involved in obtaining a dental bridge.

Initial Consultation

The first step is a comprehensive dental examination during which the dentist evaluates the patient’s oral health and the suitability for a dental bridge. This may involve taking X-rays to assess the health of the gums and the adjacent teeth that will serve as supports (abutments) for the bridge.

Discussion of Treatment Options

During the consultation, the dentist discusses the types of bridges available and recommends the best option based on the patient’s specific needs, the location of the missing tooth or teeth, and financial considerations.

Preparation of Abutment Teeth

The next step involves preparing the abutment teeth. This preparation typically involves reshaping these teeth by removing a portion of the enamel to allow room for a crown to be placed over them. This is done under local anaesthesia to ensure the patient’s comfort.


Once the abutment teeth are prepared, impressions of the teeth are made. These impressions are used to create a model of the patient’s teeth, which the dental laboratory uses to design and fabricate the bridge, crowns, and pontics (the artificial teeth).

Temporary Bridge Fitting

A temporary bridge may be placed to protect the exposed teeth and gums while the permanent bridge is being made. This temporary bridge also helps maintain the aesthetics of the patient’s smile and allows for normal eating and speaking.

Permanent Bridge Fabrication

The dental laboratory uses the impressions to create the bridge, ensuring that it matches the patient’s natural teeth in color and shape. This custom fabrication process ensures the bridge will fit comfortably and blend seamlessly with the surrounding teeth.

Fitting and Adjustments

Once the permanent bridge is ready, the temporary bridge is removed, and the new bridge is fitted. The dentist checks and adjusts the bridge as necessary to ensure a proper fit, correct bite, and comfortable function. This may require several visits to fine-tune the fit.

Cementing the Bridge

When both the dentist and patient are satisfied with the fit and appearance of the bridge, it is cemented into place. This final step secures the bridge, allowing the patient to use it just like their natural teeth.

Follow-up Care

After the bridge has been placed, follow-up visits may be scheduled to check the bridge and the health of the adjacent teeth and gums. The dentist will also provide advice on caring for the bridge, including proper brushing, flossing, and regular check-ups to ensure its longevity.

Getting a dental bridge involves a detailed and careful process, from the initial consultation and preparation of abutment teeth to the custom fabrication and fitting of the permanent bridge. With proper care, a dental bridge can effectively restore the appearance and functionality of missing teeth, contributing to a healthy and complete smile.

Getting a dental bridge is a significant step towards restoring the function and appearance of your smile after tooth loss. However, it also means adopting a modified oral hygiene routine to ensure the longevity of the bridge and the health of your remaining natural teeth. Understanding how a dental bridge will affect your oral hygiene and care is essential for maintaining optimal oral health.

Adapting Your Oral Hygiene Routine

While dental bridges are designed to mimic the look and feel of natural teeth, they require special care to keep the area around and under the bridge clean.

Brushing and Flossing

Brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste remains crucial. When brushing, pay special attention to the areas where the bridge meets the gum line to remove plaque and prevent the buildup of bacteria. Flossing is also essential, though it may require the use of special aids like floss threaders to navigate beneath the bridge and remove debris and plaque from between the bridge and the adjacent natural teeth.

Water Flossers and Interdental Brushes

Water flossers can be particularly effective for cleaning around dental bridges. They use a stream of water to flush out food particles and bacteria from under the bridge and between teeth. Interdental brushes are also useful for cleaning areas that are difficult to reach with traditional floss.

Professional Dental Care

Regular dental check-ups and professional cleanings are even more important for individuals with dental bridges. These visits allow your dentist or hygienist to monitor the health of your bridge and the surrounding teeth and gums. They can also perform professional cleanings that remove plaque and tartar buildup more effectively than home care alone.

Preventing Damage to Your Bridge

To avoid damaging your bridge, be mindful of biting down on hard foods or objects and avoid using your teeth to open packages or bite your nails. Such habits can put undue stress on the bridge and surrounding teeth, potentially leading to damage or the need for repair or replacement.

Maintaining the Health of Adjacent Teeth

The health of the teeth that support your bridge (the abutment teeth) is vital for the stability and longevity of the restoration. Decay or gum disease affecting these teeth can compromise the bridge. Therefore, thorough cleaning around these teeth is essential to prevent problems that could affect the foundation of your bridge.

While a dental bridge can significantly improve your oral health and aesthetics after tooth loss, it also requires a commitment to meticulous oral hygiene and regular dental visits. By taking the necessary steps to care for your bridge and surrounding teeth, you can ensure the success and longevity of your dental restoration.

Dental bridges are a popular solution for replacing missing teeth, designed to “bridge” the gap where one or more teeth have been lost. However, whether a dental bridge is suitable for an individual depends on several factors, including the health of the adjacent teeth, the location of the gap, and overall oral health. Understanding these considerations can help determine if a dental bridge is the right option for replacing missing teeth.

Criteria for Dental Bridge Candidacy

To ensure the success and longevity of a dental bridge, certain criteria need to be met. These include:

Health of Adjacent Teeth

The teeth adjacent to the gap (abutment teeth) must be healthy and strong enough to support the bridge. If these teeth are weakened by decay, gum disease, or are not structurally sound, alternative treatments may be recommended.

Oral Hygiene and Gum Health

Good oral hygiene and healthy gums are essential for the success of a dental bridge. Gum disease or poor oral hygiene can undermine the foundation of the bridge, leading to its failure. Patients considering a dental bridge must be committed to maintaining excellent oral hygiene practices.

Considerations for Dental Bridges

While dental bridges offer numerous benefits, including restoring dental function and aesthetics, there are several considerations to keep in mind:

Alternatives to Dental Bridges

For some individuals, alternatives like dental implants may be more suitable. Implants do not require altering adjacent teeth and provide a solution that can last a lifetime with proper care. The decision between a bridge and an implant often depends on the patient’s oral health status, preferences, and financial considerations.

Longevity and Maintenance

While dental bridges can last many years, they typically do not last as long as dental implants. Bridges require meticulous cleaning under and around the pontic to prevent decay and gum disease. Regular dental check-ups are essential to monitor the health of the bridge and the adjacent teeth.

Impact on Surrounding Teeth

Preparing the abutment teeth for a bridge involves removing some of the tooth structure to place crowns. This procedure is irreversible, which is a significant consideration for some patients.

Dental bridges can be an excellent option for many people with missing teeth, offering a functional and aesthetic solution. However, they may not be suitable for everyone. The decision to proceed with a dental bridge should be made after a thorough examination and discussion with a dental professional, taking into account the individual’s specific oral health needs, preferences, and the condition of the surrounding teeth and gums.

Dental bridges are a common solution for replacing missing teeth, designed to fill the gap left behind and restore both functionality and aesthetics to the patient’s smile. While traditionally used to replace one or a few adjacent teeth, dental bridges can also be adapted to replace multiple missing teeth under certain conditions.

Replacing Multiple Teeth with Dental Bridges

The feasibility of using a dental bridge to replace multiple missing teeth depends on several factors, including the location of the gaps and the health and stability of the surrounding teeth.

Traditional Bridges for Multiple Teeth

Traditional dental bridges can replace two or more adjacent missing teeth if there are strong natural teeth present on both sides of the gap to serve as abutments. These abutment teeth are crucial for providing the support needed to bear the bridge.

Cantilever and Maryland Bridges

Cantilever and Maryland bridges are generally not recommended for replacing multiple missing teeth due to the strain placed on the supporting teeth. These types of bridges are better suited for single-tooth replacements, especially in areas of the mouth that experience less biting force.

Implant-supported Bridges for Multiple Missing Teeth

Implant-supported bridges offer a more robust solution for replacing multiple missing teeth, especially when the missing teeth span a larger gap or are not adjacent to each other.

Benefits of Implant-supported Bridges

Implant-supported bridges do not rely on natural teeth for support. Instead, dental implants, which are surgically placed into the jawbone, serve as the foundation for the bridge. This approach provides several advantages:

  • Durability: Implants provide a strong and stable foundation, making the bridge more durable and capable of replacing multiple teeth effectively.
  • Bone Health: Dental implants help to preserve jawbone health by providing stimulation that prevents bone loss.
  • Preservation of Natural Teeth: Since implants do not rely on adjacent teeth for support, there is no need to alter or place crowns on healthy teeth, preserving more of the patient’s natural tooth structure.

Considerations for Implant-supported Bridges

Choosing an implant-supported bridge for replacing multiple missing teeth involves considering the patient’s overall oral health, jawbone density, and budget. The process requires multiple steps, including surgery to place the implants and a healing period before the final bridge can be attached.

Dental bridges can be used to replace multiple missing teeth, with the choice between traditional and implant-supported bridges depending on individual circumstances. Implant-supported bridges, in particular, offer a comprehensive solution for multiple missing teeth, providing benefits in terms of durability, oral health, and aesthetics. Consultation with a dental professional is essential to determine the most appropriate option based on the patient’s specific needs and oral health status.

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