A bridge is a replacement tooth or teeth that are supported / retained by other teeth or implants.
There are different types of bridge:
1) Conventional – Fitting a conventional bridge involves reducing one or more teeth and making a crown to fit over the reduced tooth. A false tooth is then attached to the crown. An advantage of this type is that it is quick to administer and can last a long time. A disadvantage is that sometimes it can warrant the cutting back of a healthy tooth. Sometimes, bone loss can occur under the bridge, leaving a gap under the false tooth.
2) ‘Adhesive’ or minimal / no preparation bridges – These bridges have metal ‘wings’ and newer types even have tooth-coloured wings to fit within the mouth securely. An advantage of this type is that it is quick and easy to administer and can last a long time. There is also little preparation needed for the natural teeth. A disadvantage is that it may ‘come away’ particularly if used in the wrong situation. However, bridges of this type can easily be stuck back on again.
3) ‘Natural tooth bridge’ – In these cases, the natural tooth that requires removal has the end of the root removed and treated. It is then stuck to the teeth either side of the gap using a special fibre-reinforced tooth-coloured filling. And advantage to this style is that it is the most natural looking bridge, and that is also requires very little preparation of the natural teeth. It’s quite an immediate process so there is no experience of gaps or temporary dentures. A disadvantage is that these bridges only have a five year life span on average, although they can be replaced easily.