A bridge stabilizes the bite of a patient who is missing one or more teeth. Bridges prevent the surrounding teeth from moving or shifting in the mouth. A missing tooth that is not replaced may cause surrounding teeth to become unstable and require removal, compromising oral health or change the shape of the face and diminish the beauty of a smile.
Unlike partial dentures, bridges are permanent; patients need not remove them. The missing tooth is replaced with an artificial tooth connected between two crowns (caps), which are permanently cemented or bonded on the adjacent teeth.
Bridges can be used to replace a small number of missing teeth if the neighboring teeth are sufficiently strong. The number of missing teeth, condition of the neighboring teeth, condition of the supporting gums and bone are all important factors which need to be assessed prior to making a bridge.