If you are missing a tooth, we strongly suggest you have it replaced. A bridge is an excellent treatment option for the replacement of missing teeth. Beyond just the aesthetic disadvantage of a missing tooth, missing teeth can also cause structural changes to your mouth and jaw, as well as making it difficult to eat or speak properly.
A bridge is an attached unremovable prosthesis that consists of two crowns on either end of the missing tooth with a pontic, or artificial tooth, in the middle that serves as the replacement tooth. It is called a bridge because your existing teeth are used to create a bridge to cross the area where your tooth is missing.
The process of creating a bridge begins by creating abutments out of the existing teeth on each end of the missing tooth, which is what provides the base of the bridge. These teeth are called abutments, or retainer crowns, because this is where the bridge will be attached. Similar to the crown process, the existing teeth are then reshaped and recontoured. A mold is then taken after that is completed, which is what the dental lab uses to fabricate the permanent bridge. Like a crown, typically bridges are fabricated from either porcelain or full gold.
You will leave your appointment with a temporary bridge in place while the dental lab fabricates your permanent bridge. Once your bridge is finished, which typically takes 2-3 weeks, you will return to the office for a short appointment to have your permanent bridge placed.
It might take a little while to get used to having a bridge because your mouth has previously been accustomed to not having a tooth in that area. However, after a few days of this initial transition phase, you will definitely feel like you have your own teeth again and can smile with confidence.