Dental bridges are a great way to replace missing teeth. Your existing teeth are used to literally create a bridge to cross the area where your tooth is missing.
The process of creating a bridge begins by creating abutments out of your existing teeth where the bridge will be attached. These abutments serve the same function as the abutments that support the span of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge (only on a much smaller scale!). The abutments are created by recountouring the teeth on either side of the missing tooth, and will then serve as a support structure for the bridge. After the abutments have been shaped, a mold is taken of the area which is sent to a dental lab. The lab is able to use the mold to create a bridge that will be cemented into place (much like a single crown is cemented on your tooth) and look and feel as close to your natural teeth as possible. During the two weeks that your bridge is being carefully and custom fabricated for your mouth, you will have a temporary bridge in place to protect the abutment teeth and fill in the space of your missing tooth/teeth.
Bridges are designed to be a permanent tooth replacement and cannot be taken in and out of your mouth once cemented into place (unlike a Removeable Partial Denture).