A dental bridge is one method to fill a space created by a missing tooth (or teeth). It is made up of 2 or more dental crowns placed on anchor teeth either side of a gap and a replacement(s) in between. Bridges are non-removable and feel and look just like real teeth. They can be used to fill a gap very successfully in some cases, and cannot be detected when done well.
Placing a bridge involves filing down the teeth on either side of the space, rather substantially, to place crowns over them. The supporting teeth need to be strong enough to support the bridge, and the occlusion (how the bottom and top teeth meet) would need to be assessed. If the teeth on either side of the space are heavily filled, and would need crowns in the near future, then a bridge may be a good option. If the teeth on either side of the space are lightly filled or not filled at all, further consideration may be advised before opting for this treatment.
Not all patients are candidates for bridges. Teeth, bones and gums must be healthy. A bridge does require specific cleaning techniques, and a commitment to maintaining good oral hygiene and regular follow-ups are essential for its longevity. A thorough assessment by a dentist is needed in order to plan any bridgework. We also recommend allowing at least six months for healing after a tooth extraction before placing a bridge.