A bridge is designed to replace or span the space where one or more teeth have been lost. A bridge helps maintain the natural shape of your face and support your lips and cheeks. The loss of a back tooth may cause your mouth to sink and your face to look older. More importantly, your dental health may suffer when teeth are not replaced. The remaining teeth can drift out of position, changing the way your teeth fit together and affecting the way you chew and speak.
A bridge is commonly cemented to the natural teeth next to the space left by the missing tooth. A false tooth (called a pontic) replaces the lost tooth. Crowns, which are cemented onto the natural teeth, provide support for the bridge. Implants can also be used to attach artificial teeth directly to the jaw. Because implants require surgery, candidates for implants should have good general health and have adequate bone to place an implant.
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