When you are missing one or more teeth in the same area, you will have a gap in your smile. A dental bridge will close that gap, by inserting a crown or implant into the area. The teeth on either side of that gap are called abutment teeth. The pontic or false tooth that will be placed into the gap can be made out of a few different materials such as porcelain, alloy, and gold or any combination of these.
There are two types of bridges used today that include the traditional and Maryland bonded. The traditional bridge uses a crown or implant on either side of the gap from a missing tooth, and the pontic is inserted into the gap. This is the most commonly seen bridge, and materials include porcelain that has been fused to metal or to ceramic.
A Maryland bonded is also called a resin-bonded bridge. It can be made of porcelain fused to metal, porcelain alone or a plastic set of teeth and gums that have a metal or porcelain frame beneath them. There are wings on either side of this bridge that allow for fusing of permanent teeth on either side.
Your first visit includes the abutment tooth or teeth being prepare by contouring the enamel, so they are ready for crowns. The Dentist will then take an impression of the area, so your pontic bridge and crown can be made and a temporary is inserted. Next visit, you will be fitted with the permanents and adjusted. A few visits may be needed to get the right fit before it is set to perfection.