Transform your smile with dental implants.pdf - Page 9

Conventional bridgework
If you have suitable teeth, it used to be common practice to cut
down the teeth adjacent to the gaps and fit conventional
bridgework. The adjacent teeth were fitted with crowns, and
false teeth (called a pontic) were attached to the supporting
crowns, filling the gap. This type of treatment is destructive to
the supportive teeth. The life expectancy of bridgework, if done
well, is typically only seven to fifteen years – a lot less if it is
badly done or not looked after well.
There are complications in crowning teeth – about 20% of the
nerves (the dental pulp) in crowned teeth die off over time.
These teeth will then need further treatment, such as root-canal
work. Gums may recede around bridges, which can look
unsightly and may mean that the bridgework needs to be
redone. If a tooth supporting the bridge is subsequently lost as a
result of fracture or infection, the whole bridge is then lost.
Bridges are usually made from metal alloys and tooth-coloured
ceramics, or sometimes from newer high-strength ceramics.
Adhesive bridges
If you are missing just one or two teeth, in the right circumstances
it is possible to make a false tooth that has metal plates attached
to it, which are glued to the tongue side of your adjacent teeth.
This can be a good temporary or long-term solution. The main
advantage with an adhesive bridge is that you do not need to cut
down the adjacent teeth. You need to be aware, however, that
stick-on bridges can come unstuck, and you will then need to go
back to a dentist to have it rebonded. These bridges are typically
made from metal alloys and tooth-coloured ceramics.
Moving teeth with braces
If you are missing just one tooth and your teeth are crowded, it
may be possible to move your adjacent teeth to close up the
gap. This obviously is a great solution, as you can fix both the
crowding of your teeth, to improve their appearance, and close
the gap at the same time.


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