A tooth could be missing for various reasons – missing from birth / it became loose in the gums and fell off / grossly decayed and destroyed by infection. Teeth replacement can be planned for such missing teeth (single or multiple).
Bridge is a non-invasive technique of replacing missing tooth/teeth. In this support is taken from the adjacent teeth and a framework is seated.
Bridge is a metallic / non-metallic framework which is seated onto the teeth adjacent to the missing space. It takes support from the teeth present on both sides which act as pillars and the framework is fixed on them. The frame of the bridge sits in the missing area and thus the missing tooth is replaced.
Bridge can be metallic / non metallic. Metallic bridge can have a porcelain or ceramic coating on it. Non – metallic bridge can be made of complete ceramic or zirconia. All Ceramic and Zirconia bridges are high quality bridges and have a good life.
Single bridge can replace up to 5-6 teeth. In case where only 1-3 teeth are missing, single tooth support is taken from the adjacent teeth (each side). If the bridge span is longer, 2 or more teeth may be required for support for the framework on each side.
The adjacent pillar teeth are slightly trimmed depending on the type of bridge to be placed. This trimming is important for the bridge to be seated on the pillar teeth. The trimming is limited to the outer hard enamel layer. Once the bridge is fixed properly and the margins are sealed, there should be no cavity formation.
Proper oral hygiene care and regular dental visit, once every 6 months, is important to make sure that your bridge lasts for a long time.
Placing a bridge is a completely non invasive procedure and should not be painful.
A good quality bridge which is seated properly without any marginal leakage should last for minimum 5 years. If it is maintained properly, it will last even longer. Average life of a bridge is seen between 8-12 years.
The cost of a bridge depends on the quality of material you chose and number of missing teeth. For a 3 unit bridge (which will replace single missing tooth) the cost will range between Rs. 12,000 and Rs. 40,000 depending upon the material chosen. If the missing tooth span is longer, cost will increase.
Teeth have a tendency to migrate into areas where there is a missing tooth. If the tooth has been missing for a long time, the teeth adjacent to it and opposite to it migrate to fill its space. This results in change of bite which causes imbalanced forces on the jaw on chewing food and further causing pain and discomfort. Also the new changed position of the teeth (with shifted contacts) can result in food lodgement between teeth and hence, cavities if proper hygiene is not maintained.
Depending on the choice of bridge material used, bridge can be fixed / cemented onto the teeth. Both will last a long time.