Teeth can be replaced with a fixed bridge in that part of the mouth where there are adequate numbers of teeth that are sufficiently healthy and strong to support the artificial teeth. To create a bridge, it is necessary to prepare the adjacent teeth by cutting down their sizes by removing all the enamel, thus making room for prosthetic tooth restoration. A prosthetic tooth (or teeth) can be suspended between adjacent teeth to provide a functional and cosmetic replacement for the missing tooth.
This type of treatment has a limitation that is directly linked to the irreversible preparation of the adjacent (abutment) teeth for support. As a result, the nerves in the gum area of the teeth are exposed to the risk of trauma, thus increasing the need for a root canal treatment. Long-term, fixed bridges between natural teeth have an average life expectancy of 10-12 years before requiring replacement again. Replacement of fixed bridges often entails further treatment as the abutment or supporting teeth may be compromised over time resulting in dental diseases (such as cavities, sensitive teeth, swollen gums, receding gums, bleeding gums, pain with chewing/biting, etc.)