Welcome to the next entry in our ongoing series of patient information columns. Our goal is to educate the reader, thereby reducing any anxiety that a patient may feel from the unknown. Today, we unveil the mystery of:Porcelain BridgesA porcelain bridge literally “bridges the gap” created by one or more missing teeth. A dental bridge consists of two crowns which fit on to the teeth on either side of the gap, and the false tooth or teeth in between. The two anchoring teeth which have the crowns fitted on them are called abutment teeth. These can be your natural teeth or dental implants (see Dental Mysteries – Volume 2). The artificial or false teeth are called pontics. The pontics can be made from a variety of materials: gold, alloys, or porcelain. Smile Texas recommends porcelain for a more natural-looking smile and stronger teeth.The benefits of a porcelain bridge are many. It restores your smile to its natural beauty. It allows you to properly chew and speak. It allows you to maintain the shape of your face. There are many more benefits, but you get the idea.The porcelain bridge procedure begins by preparing the abutment teeth. Your dentist will prepare each of the two teeth to allow room for the crown to be placed over them. Next, impressions are made to serve as a mold for the dental lab to manufacture the crowns and the pontic(s). A temporary bridge will be fitted to protect the abutment teeth and the gums. When the porcelain bridge is ready, you will visit your dentist for the second time so your dentist can securely cement the crowns in place and your smile will be complete with the dental bridge.With proper care there is no limit to how long your new bridge can last. Proper care includes nothing more than the normal brushing, flossing, and dental cleaning. It’s important to keep the surrounding teeth healthy and strong to provide a solid foundation for the bridge.