A bridge is made to replace one or more teeth that you miss. A bridge consists of at least three parts: two pillars and a dummy.
The two pillars do not always have to be present on either side of the hole, sometimes it is better if the pillars on one side of the hole provide support, the bridge is then free-ended. One pillar to replace an element is normally not strong enough, the pillar will eventually be erased.
What are the preparations for treatment?
The dentist will first check if there is enough room for the bridge. Space between your upper and lower elements, so that the bridge does not get in the way of chewing. And space between the two neighboring elements of the hole that is now present, so that the bridge can have a natural tooth width. X-rays will also be taken to see whether the roots of the pillar elements are strong enough and healthy to support the construction.
Your dentist will give you an anesthetic, even if the pillar elements are not sensitive. The anesthetic also squeezes the blood vessels around the pillar elements. This gives your dentist a better view and will be able to make a better impression.
Is the treatment painful?
The treatment is not painful because there is anesthesia. The sting of the anesthetic does not have to be painful anymore with the current disposable needles.
How often do I have to come to the practice?
At least twice. Once to sharpen the pillar elements, determine color and make prints. The second time to fit and place the bridge. Sometimes a third time. For example, because your dentist does not want to print immediately after preparation. It may also be that your dentist wants to fit the bridge in a provisional stage or that the bridge is ground after fitting and is sent back to the technician to apply a new gloss layer.
What inconveniences can I expect during treatment?
Preparing a bridge is an extensive treatment. Particularly if the bridge comes far behind in your mouth, it is difficult to sit wide open with your mouth for a long time. Furthermore, there is of course the inconvenience of water cooling. For the printing of the bridge, impregnated wires are sometimes used that have a bad taste.
In essence, the treatment is the same as for a crown preparation, only two or more crowns are prepared in this case.
Which additional objections can I expect?
It is not unlikely that you will have pain. Making a bridge is a major intervention. An ordinary painkiller, for example paracetamol, must be sufficient. The emergency bridge can be uncomfortable, the fit is never as good as the fit of the final bridge. You can no longer floss between the pillars, because they are connected by the dummy. You can use toothpicks to clean under the emergency bridge.
Alternatives and pros and cons
Alternatives to the bridge are all removable features, such as a plate and a frame. Because this book is about cosmetic dentistry, only the best solutions are mentioned, removable facilities are not included. Moreover, a picture will damage the rest of your teeth, so this can only be used as a temporary solution.
Another alternative is the etching bridge, which is described below. An etching bridge is only eligible if the pillar elements are reasonably intact and the gap that must be spanned is not too large (one, at most two elements). A good alternative to replace a missing element is an implant.