A bridge is a prosthetic that replaces a missing tooth. It is fastened onto the adjacent teeth.
A bridge prosthetic can be used for replacing one or several missing teeth. A bridge consists of two parts: a crown that resembles the missing tooth, which is fastened onto the crowns on top of the adjacent teeth as a coherent structure.
A bridge prosthetic does not replace the root of the tooth, which means there is empty space under it that should be cleaned carefully.
The dentist diagnoses a need to replace a missing tooth with a bridge prosthetic when the patient has a sufficient number of own teeth to support the bridge structure and when a permanent solution is needed but implant treatment is not applicable due to, for example, insufficient jaw bone or the desire to improve the appearance of teeth or occlusion.
In some cases, other treatment of the teeth that support the bridge may be needed as preliminary work. The dentist mills the support teeth under anaesthesia when making the bridge. Moulds are taken from the teeth, and the dental laboratory makes the bridge on the basis of the moulds. The fitting of the bridge may include several phases. The teeth are protected with a temporary structure between the milling and the permanent fixing. When the bridge is ready, it is cemented to its place.
When you have a missing tooth and your dentist has diagnosed the need for a bridge prosthetic at an earlier appointment.