When teeth are missing and there are teeth on either side of the space a bridge is the ideal way to replace the missing teeth. When there has been the loss of a tooth or teeth and there is a tooth on either side of the open space, replacement teeth can be attached to two crowns constructed for the 2 teeth on either side of the open space. This is called a bridge because it bridges the open space. When a tooth is lost 5 or more other teeth may drift so it is essential to place a replacement tooth as soon as possible.
The space left from missing teeth may cause one of several problems. Teeth may drift into the space changing your bite, this changed bite may result in sore jaws, gum disease, or decay (due to more difficult hygiene).
Afixed bridge is used to replace one or several teeth. The teeth on each end of the space is used to as anchors (abutments). Bridges are not removable by the patient. As with other types of crowns (caps), a bridge can be made of metal or porcelain, or a combination of these two.