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23 October 2023

Dental Bridges in Manchester and Teeth Straightening – Can They Co-exist?

Dental Bridges In Manchester

If you’re considering dental bridges, one of the common concerns for some patients is whether they impact or hinder the teeth straightening process. In this article, we’ll explore the symbiotic relationship between dental bridges and teeth straightening to help you make an informed decision about your oral health.

Understanding dental bridges

Before we dive into the impact of dental bridges on teeth straightening, it’s worth taking a look at what dental bridges are and why they’re used.

Essentially dental bridges are custom-made appliances used to replace lost teeth. They consist of one or more replica restorations known as ‘pontic’ teeth which are anchored either to existing adjacent teeth or a dental implant. The pontic teeth will then span or ‘bridge’ the gap serving both functional and aesthetic purposes.

Interestingly, dental bridges aren’t a modern invention and have been around in one form or another for thousands of years. We know, for example, that around 2000 BC, the ancient Egyptians were utilising donor teeth to fill tooth gaps.

Holes were drilled through the donor teeth which were inter-connected with gold wire (the bridging mechanism) and then tied or fastened to healthy adjacent teeth. Although incredibly primitive, they did manage to prevent the appearance of a toothless smile. Thankfully, today’s dental bridges are far better equipped to aid both appearance and functionality.

Dental bridges and teeth straightening in Manchester – What you should know

Now we know what dental bridges are, let’s take a closer look at the relationship between bridging restorations and the need for straighter teeth.

When teeth are lost, it’s important to fill the space previously occupied by natural teeth. Replacement teeth can come in the form of partial dentures, dental implants, or in this case, dental bridges.


Because if the space is left, neighbouring teeth will start to drift or shift toward the gap to fill the void. In some cases, this occurs soon after tooth loss, while in others it can take months or even years. What we can be sure of, however, is that any significant tooth loss brings about movement which, in turn, causes remaining teeth to become misaligned.

But that’s not all…

A crooked or misaligned smile can then trigger a whole host of other problems including:

  • Excess wear and tear on other healthy teeth,
  • Problematic cleaning as areas of the teeth become harder to reach,
  • Increased risk of gum disease,
  • Difficulty in chewing, and eventually,
  • Further tooth loss.

This is why having a complete smile is more than just a cosmetic choice.

Inevitably, people with tooth gaps will often need some sort of teeth straightening procedure in addition to replacement teeth. Treatment typically comes in the form of appliances like fixed ‘bracket-and-wire’ style braces or removable clear aligners.

So, while dental bridges replace teeth, braces or aligners straighten teeth, and often, both treatments are inextricably linked.

So, teeth straightening or a dental bridge, which comes first?

Essentially, the answer is that it all depends. If, for example, an existing bridge is already present, then orthodontic movements can typically be tailored around it.

Conversely, if a patient has a tooth gap that is yet to be restored, the dentist may suggest that teeth straightening is carried out first.

So why is this?

By straightening the surrounding teeth first, the process creates a more stable environment for a dental bridge to fit into, while at the same time, ensuring that any bridging teeth fit properly and function optimally in the long term.

A couple of key points to be aware of

If you are fitted with a dental bridge and would like to undergo teeth straightening at a later date your dentist may need to make some adjustments to your existing restoration.

Here’s why:

As the brace or aligner causes the teeth to move, the bridging teeth may loosen. To counteract this, periodic modifications of the bridging appliance should ensure the best fit and functionality throughout the treatment and beyond.

The other point is this…   

If you have an implant-supported bridge, it may offer a unique advantage when it comes to teeth straightening. Our Manchester-based, Alderley Edge dentist explains:

In some cases, orthodontists use a technique known as an orthodontic mini-screw to aid and control the teeth straightening process. An orthodontic screw acts as an anchor point to better control tooth movement.

On occasions, a pre-existing implant may correspond with the exact area your dentist needs as the said anchor point. If the implant wasn’t there, temporary anchorage devices would normally be fitted.

Because orthodontic appliances cannot move dental implants, the titanium implant rod naturally provides the ideal anchor point.

As a result, the patient won’t need to undergo surgery for TAD insertion or go through the removal process of any temporary screws after teeth straightening is complete.

In other words, if the existing implant is already in the right place, it can make the teeth straightening process more efficient and, in this case, less costly.

Teeth straightening and dental bridges in Manchester – Working in harmony

As you can see, the relationship between teeth straightening and dental bridges varies from case to case. Essentially, dental bridges will complement your journey towards a straighter, healthier smile as they work hand in hand with orthodontic treatments like fixed braces and clear aligners.

An experienced dentist will assess your specific situation and create a personalised treatment plan based on their findings. They will also help you achieve your smile goals while ensuring your oral health remains a top priority.

At Church Road Dental and Cosmetics, we’re here to guide and assist you in making the right decisions for your oral health, so don’t hesitate to contact us to help you take that first step.

Schedule an appointment today.  

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