When a tooth is missing there 3 alternatives available to replace it: 1) an implant, 2) a removable appliance, or 3) a bridge. The advantage of Bridges is that they are often more comfortable and secure than a removable appliance and it is often quicker and easier to complete than an implant.
Bridges, like crowns, are made in the dental laboratory and often require 2 appointments. On the first visit, the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth are prepared to become the abutments for the bridge. An impression of the area is made and sent to the dental lab. A temporary bridge is made and placed to restore the area for the 2-3 weeks while the final bridge is being made in the dental lab.
On the second visit, the temporary bridge is removed and the abutment teeth are cleaned. The final bridge is back from the dental lab and it is tried-in and adjusted and evaluated for fit, comfort, and esthetics. Once the new bridge is fitted properly it is cemented and the missing tooth is replaced, restoring a beautiful smile.