Bridges are used to fill the space created by a missing tooth. It is formed to look like the missing tooth, and it takes its place in the mouth. The sides of a bridge use the two surrounding teeth for support. A bridge replaces the missing tooth, both functionally and cosmetically. Bridge work is as much an art as it is an exact science. The materials used
may be gold alloys, porcelain bonded to metal alloy, or all ceramic material. The choice of material depends on requirements for strength, wear, and/or esthetics.
It is important that a missing tooth be replaced as soon as possible for several reasons. If not treated the teeth surrounding the gap begin to shift inward. Teeth use their neighbors for support, and with one missing they start to “fall.” The bite changes in response to the pressure. This can eventually result in problems with the entire jaw. The surrounding teeth can also deteriorate and it is just a matter of time before they are lost. Gum disease can also becomes a serious problem, with the difficulty of treatment increasing as the neglect continues.