Bridges are used when a tooth is missing between two other teeth.  Instead of a removable appliance, a bridge is permanently cemented to the teeth.  Just like a crown, the adjacent teeth are prepared so that something can fit over them without altering the bite.  With a bridge there is one extra step to ensure that the bridge fits properly before cementation.  A try-in appointment is required to make sure both teeth were prepared in a parallel manner so that the margins of the crowns fit exactly.  Then the porcelain is placed over the metal and cemented at the next visit.

Bridges are no longer considered the best option when replacing a single missing tooth.  If the adjacent teeth have no or very small fillings, it is contraindicated to remove healthy tooth structure.  In addition, a bridge may last 10 years and is difficult to clean since special floss is required to clean these.  The best alternative is an implant in many cases.  All options should be reviewed by the dentist so you can choose what works best for you.