When teeth are missing, a great option for replacing them is through the use of a tooth bridge.
A dental bridge fills in the space of missing teeth with crowns and uses the neighboring teeth next to the space for support, hence the name, bridge. These neighboring teeth are prepared to support the bridge, usually by being prepared in the same manner of a tooth that needs a crown, which is one of the drawbacks of a bridge if these teeth are healthy.
An oral bridge will function not only to replace the missing teeth, but will provide most of the benefits that the natural teeth did before them. Teeth bridges stabilize the bite when chewing, improve chewing efficiency, prevent the teeth in the area from moving as well as the opposing teeth, look much better aesthetically (especially when compared to nothing), provide cheek/lip support (affecting the facial profile), can improve speech, and more.
The materials used for a dental bridge is similar to crowns. Based on the needs of where the tooth bridge will be placed and on the aesthetic desires of the patient, the material and bridge type will be determined.
Like a crown, a dental bridge procedure takes two visits as it must be cemented in place on the second visit after it has been carefully designed by the laboratory. Once delivered, this new bridge will look much like the natural teeth in the area.
The success of this bridge depends in large part on its foundation, the supporting teeth, and the gums and bone to which they are attached. Therefore, it is very important to keep it clean (as well as the other teeth) by daily brushing and flossing. When flossing the bridge, an aid called a floss threader, is used to help guild the floss underneath it to clean this area.