A dental bridge or pontic is a bespoke false tooth used to replace a missing tooth. It is a more permanent fixed solution than a removable denture and is fitted by securing the pontic between two crowns which are then anchored to the healthy teeth on either side of the gap. There are a number of steps that lead to the completion of a dental bridge, and the procedure can take up to four weeks to complete.

1. Assessment

The starting point of the dental bridge procedure is to have the teeth assessed to see whether or not a dental bridge is the recommended and correct course of action. Bridges are generally recommended when one or more teeth are missing that affect your appearance or your speech; that put strain on the neighboring teeth surrounding the gap and that could lead to accelerated rates of tooth decay and gum disease as a result of trapped food debris in the gap.

2. Temporary Bridge Fitted

Once the teeth have been assessed, a temporary bridge needs to be fitted. The dentist will use a local anaesthetic to numb the area and following this, the teeth on either side of the gap are trimmed and sculpted to allow space for the new crown. The dentist will then use putty to make an impression of the teeth, which will then be used to construct the permanent crown. Once this is done, a temporary bridge is fitted so that the exposed teeth and gums will be protected.

3. Permanent Bridge Fitted

A separate appointment will be needed in which the temporary bridge is removed and the permanent custom-made bridge is fitted. The new bridge is then checked for fit, bite and comfort, and only once all of these have been established, it is cemented into place with temporary cement.

4. Follow Up

Multiple visits may be required after the permanent bridge is fitted to ensure fit and comfort. Should any problems arise, these issues are resolved before permanent cement is used to fix the bridge into place.

Should you sustain good dental hygiene, a dental bridge can last up to 15 years and sometimes even more.