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What are fixed bridges?

A bridge is used to replace missing teeth by fixing the replacement to the natural teeth at each side of the gap. Bridges are made of metal and porcelain or sometimes just porcelain.

What does this treatment involve?

* Your dentist will take an impression of your mouth, using a soft, mouldable material. A dental technician will then make exact plaster models of your upper and lower teeth and gums to illustrate how your teeth bite together

* To ensure that the bridge is not too bulky, your dentist will prepare the teeth which will support the bridge

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* Another impression is then taken of the teeth and any gaps, which the dental technician uses to make the bridge. In the meantime, a plastic temporary bridge or temporary crown may be fitted

* At your final visit, your dentist will check that the bridge fits correctly and make any minor adjustments, before fixing it permanently in place

What are the benefits of fixed bridges?

* It can improve the way you look, it replaces missing teeth and can be matched to the colour of your natural teeth. It can also improve the way that you chew and speak

* A bridge can last for many years, if you keep it clean and there is no accidental damage

* A bridge can help to protect natural teeth from wear and tear. A bridge can also prevent your own teeth from moving or tilting out of line, which could cause your teeth to bite together incorrectly.