When teeth have been lost, they can be often be replaced using fixed bridges. A bridge works by using the teeth next to the space to support the new replacement tooth. The dentist will prepare the supporting teeth (called abutments) in a manner similar to a crown preparation. A mold of the prepared teeth is made, a temporary bridge is fabricated and cemented and a shade is selected.
There are several considerations when choosing a bridge to replace missing teeth.
1. The supporting abutment teeth will be required to do additional work. They must be strong enough to deal with the additional stress.
2. The bridge usually requires support on both sides. If a second molar (back tooth) is lost, it may not be possible to replace it with a bridge.
3. If the teeth next to the space are not strong enough to support a bridge on their own, the dentist may recommend extending the bridge to additional teeth.