Missing one or more teeth is common for many people. The ADA reports that on average adult patients may have three missing or decayed teeth. Fortunately, there are a number of solutions to replace missing teeth, including dental bridges.
A bridge may be used to restore an area with one or more adjacent missing teeth. A bridge has two primary components. The abutments (or supports) for the bridge are created by placing a crown on either a natural tooth or an implant. The synthetic tooth that replaces the missing tooth is called a pontic.
In the case of one missing tooth, the two teeth on either side will be prepped for crowns and the missing tooth will be replaced with a synthetic tooth that is connected to the crowns on either side of the missing tooth. In the case of several adjacent missing teeth, one or more implants may provide the abutment.
Nowadays we recommend implants rather than bridges, as they are longer lasting and less detrimental to the adjacent teeth.