A bridge, also known as a fixed denture, is made to visibly replace one or more missing teeth. They work by mechanically linking a false tooth to your existing teeth.

Installing a bridge requires crowning / bonding to adjacent healthy teeth and causes irreversible damage.

A standard bridge is made by installing a crowns on each side of the missing tooth, and linking them together with a false tooth in the middle. The bridge material depends on your budget, and will either be porcelain fused onto metal, or a specialized ceramic / composite material Bridges can be supported by:

  • A connection to natural teeth
  • A connection to implants
  • A combination of natural teeth and implants

If the teeth receiving the crowns are healthy and strong, they may not need root canal therapy, but some of the tooth will need to be removed to make space for the crowns.
A cantilever bridge is the same as a standard bridge, except that the false tooth is only held in place by crown(s) from one side. This reduces the damage to neighboring teeth, but is much weaker than a standard bridge.
A metal framework is bonded to the back of your existing teeth, and the false teeth are attached to this framework. Bonded bridges require less tooth preparation compared to traditional bridges, and hence cause less damage to your existing teeth. The downside is that these bridges tend to be weak and the bonding may break when there is significant biting force.

Installation of a bridge will require at least two dental visits, but often more depending on the difficulty of the bridge.

Bridges will typically last from five to ten years, and are prone to failure due to cavities developing on the supporting teeth. These cavities occur because the bridge makes it much harder to properly brush your natural teeth, resulting in poor oral hygiene. It is critical to floss under and around the bridge to reduce the chance of cavities developing.

Wikipedia Link