Below you will see one
method which dentists use to replace missing or lost teeth. This is known as a
bridge. The bridge shown below is a porcelain fused to metal, four unit bridge.
Some bridges are made only of porcelain, and others are made entirely out of
metal, but this bridge has both. Generally, porcelain looks better, but metal is
more durable and likely to last longer. This bridge replaces two lost teeth. The
dental laboratory made the bridge in one piece, but it has four components or
The units on each end of the bridge are the crowns or "caps" that sit over top
of the teeth which still exist on either side of the space. These crowns hold
the bridge in place, or retain it. So they are known as the retainers. The two
units in the middle which replace the two missing teeth are called the pontics.
The two crowns will be permanently cemented into place and this will keep the
bridge in the mouth. Another option for replacing missing teeth is to use a
denture. A denture is not permanently cemented and can be taken out. When a
denture replaces all of the teeth on the top or bottom of the mouth it is called
a complete denture. If the person still has some of their own teeth, then a
partial denture would be made.
The third option for replacing a missing tooth, or missing teeth, is to use a
dental implant. A titanium post, or implant, is inserted into the jawbone and a
porcelain crown is placed on top. An implant is the closest option to having
your own tooth back, but will cost a bit more than a bridge.
Space where the two teeth have been lost