A bridge is a method to fill the space created by a missing tooth. A bridge is one or more artificial teeth cemented into place using the teeth on either side for support. This is an option for filling the space created by a missing tooth. Bridge work is as much an art as it is an exact science since it replaces a missing tooth both functionally and cosmetically. The materials used may be gold alloys, porcelain bonded to metal alloy, or all ceramic material made to match your natural tooth color. The choice of material depends on requirements for strength, wear, and aesthetics.
It is important that a missing tooth be replaced as soon as possible. If not treated, the teeth surrounding the gap begin to shift inward. Since teeth use their neighbors for support, if one is missing they begin to “fall” and shift into the open spaces. This may worsen the bite because of the changes in pressure and can eventually result in problems with the jaw such as TMJ.
Bridge are made by first taking an impression of your mouth. The impression is sent to a dental lab where your bridge will be custom made to fit your mouth and match your natural tooth color. A temporary bridge will be placed into your mouth until your permanent bridge is ready and cemented into place.
A bridge is an alternative to an implant where healthy tooth structure is removed from both teeth next to your missing tooth. A bridge is not the perfect choice for a missing tooth but for some it is the more affordable option. Getting an insurance to pay for a bridge is usually easier than getting them to pay for a implant but a bridge can decay and break over time where an implant should last entire lifetime if taken care of properly.