A bridge is typically used to fill gaps left by missing teeth. Bridges are cemented to natural teeth or implants surrounding the space where the tooth or teeth once stood. Gaps caused by missing teeth often cause remaining teeth to shift, which can cause undue stress on other teeth as well on jaw joints. Teeth that have drifted are also harder to clean, putting them at a higher risk for decay, gum disease, and TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder). The dental care team will fit a temporary bridge, take impressions, and send those impressions to a specialized lab. The dentist will seat the permanent bridge at a follow up appointment, usually two to three weeks later.