A dental bridge is a piece of dental work that involves creating a "bridge" of teeth that fills in an empty area. If a person loses one or more teeth that are side by side, a bridge is created using the two teeth on either side of the gap. The bridge is made up of at least three teeth. A fake tooth is in the middle with a cap on either side to cover the teeth that are next to the gap. If two teeth are missing, there would be two fake teeth in the center with a cap on each end. The caps are placed over the existing teeth creating a "bridge" of sorts to fill in the gap and prevent the two teeth on either side from shifting or moving from their original position.
Any time a person loses a permanent tooth, a gap is created that can eventually cause the teeth on either side to shift or move out of place. Unlike dental implants that are designed to be permanent, bridges can be created that can be removed if needed. While most bridges are intended to be stationary, dentists do have the ability to make ones that can be removed, much like a partial denture. Bridges are often recommended to adults who are young enough to not have to worry about getting dentures any time in the near future. Accidents happen and if a tooth is lost at a young age, a bridge or dental implant may be the answer to keeping the teeth in alignment.
Bridges are normally made out of porcelain or ceramic. When they are attached to the teeth, they can remain in place for several years. Porcelain and ceramic are extremely durable and can last as long as five to seven years. Depending on the amount of wear and tear the bridge shows, it may be able to stay in place for as long as ten years as long as it isn't cracked or damaged. If wear and tear do show, a replacement bridge can be made to replace it. Once a bridge has been put in position, it does not require any additional care other than the daily brushing you perform to maintain the other teeth.
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