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Bridges and Partial Dentures are used for two reasons. One, to ensure your ‘bite’ remains correct and to stop food and debris collecting in the area, or the surrounding teeth moving slightly, and the second for appearance.
This will depend on the number of teeth missing and the condition of the surrounding teeth. Your dentist will complete a full examination of your mouth and provide you with the information required for you to make an informed decision about what option you are able to go for.
These are fixed into your mouth much like crowns, the difference being there is an extra ‘tooth’ connected to one side of the crown which fills the gap. They can be connected to one tooth or in some cases if you have 2 teeth on the bridge, a tooth either side.
Like crowns, bridges are made of porcelain bonded to precious or non-precious metal, this means the porcelain is connected to a metal base with porcelain layers over it and is therefore very strong.
The bridge needs to be cleaned everyday, this includes underneath the false tooth to ensure the gum beneath is free of debris, helping to keep the gum healthy and breath fresh.
Unfortunately it is not often that you would be able to have the bridge fitted immediately after an extraction, this is because the gum needs time heal. When gums heal they tend to recede a little during the healing process and so there would be a gap between the bridge and the gum. It is advised you wait approximately 6 months after extraction before a bridge is made and fitted.
These are removable appliances that can also be used to fill gaps in the mouth.
They are normally made of the same acrylic that a full denture is made of but can be made with chrome-cobalt metal also. If you chose the metal version, this would be a private treatment and your dentist can give you more information at your appointment.
The dentures need to be taken out every night and left in water so they don’t warp or crack. To clean them, do it over a bowl of water or folded towel, this absorbs the impact should you accidentally drop them. It is advised you use the brush, soak, brush method when you clean them, this means brushing off any debris from the plate, soaking it as per manufacturer instructions and brushing gently again as you would when brushing your natural teeth.
Sometimes partial dentures can be fitted immediately after having a tooth removed. The only problem will be that as the gum recedes the plate may lose retention. When this happens a new denture may be required but this is something you dentist will go over with you.