This is an option for filling 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, hence the name. 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 metal alloys, porcelain bonded to metal alloys or all porcelain materials. 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, creating a whole chain reaction of bad things. Teeth use their neighbors for support and with one missing, they start to "fall". As this worsens the bite changes in response to the pressure. This can eventually result in problems with entire jaw. The surrounding teeth deteriorate and it is just a matter of time before they too are lost. Gum disease becomes a serious problem with the difficulty of treatment increasing as the neglect continues.