A traditional bridge is an appliance that is generally attached to two teeth on each side of the space where a tooth is missing. An artificial tooth attached in the middle of the bridge fills in the gap where the missing tooth was.
The disadvantage of a traditional bridge is that the teeth on either side of the gap must be prepared for crowns. If those teeth are healthy, this procedure will require the destruction of several healthy teeth.
Fortunately, bridges can be attached to implants instead of the adjacent healthy teeth. This means that the dentist doesn’t need to remove any healthy tooth tissue. It also allows the dentist to place a bridge in an area where a traditional bridge would likely fail.
The implants provide an anchor for the bridge, holding it in place by creating a false root.
Unlike dentures, a bridge bonded to implants is never removed. It is stable in the mouth and works very similar to natural teeth. By filling the gap and stopping the movement of other teeth, a fixed bridge is an excellent investment, providing better chewing ability, heading off jaw joint problems and saving money that might otherwise be spent on future dental treatment.
Bridges fixed to implants are excellent restorations and have few disadvantages. They are highly durable, but they will eventually need to be re-cemented or replaced due to normal wear.
The most common alternative treatments are a traditional fixed bridge or a removable denture.