This is an option for filling the space created by one or more missing teeth. Teeth on both sides of the missing tooth are crowned and the missing teeth are replaced by a pontic attached to the crowns. A bridge replaces missing teeth, both functionally and cosmetically. Bridge work is as much an art as it is an exact science to replace missing teeth while restoring both function and esthetics. 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 esthetics.
It is important that a missing tooth be replaced as soon as possible for several reasons. If not treated the teeth on either side of the gap begin to shift inward. Teeth use their neighbors for “support.” With one missing, they start to “drift.” As this progresses the bite changes in response to changing pressure. This can eventually result in problems with the jaw joint (TMJ or TMD). The remaining teeth can break or cause gum disease resulting in their loss. The difficulty of correcting the problem increases the longer the neglect continues.