Bridges Types

Ask Dr. Stanfield: What are the different types of dental bridges?

Conventional fixed bridges are used when there are healthy teeth or implants on both sides of the missing tooth. Crowns are made for these teeth, and a dental prosthesis is attached between them to hold an artificial tooth.

Cantilever bridges are much like conventional bridges, but they attach to adjacent teeth on only one side. Because only one tooth supports the artificial tooth, cantilever bridges are best for areas of the mouth that don’t receive a lot of pressure during chewing. We like to use these whenever possible because bridges require parts of adjoining teeth to be removed to accommodate the crown that supports the bridge; the fewer teeth we can affect, the better.

Resin-bonded bridges, also known as Maryland bridges because the technology was developed at the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery at the University of Maryland, are best used to replace a missing tooth when the abutting teeth are healthy and don’t have fillings. It’s most commonly used to replace missing front teeth. To hold an artificial tooth in place, thin metal “wings” are attached to the tongue side of the teeth and held there by a special composite resin.

Is a dental bridge permanent?

They are considered permanent (not removable). With proper dental care, dental bridges can last more than 15 years; however, some need replacement after as few as five years. While your customized dental bridge is being fabricated, a process that takes three weeks, we likely will put a temporary bridge in place, which is intended to protect your remaining teeth and gums from damage and give you maximum oral functioning.

What are dental bridges made of?

Conventional fixed bridges and cantilever bridges are usually made of either ceramic or porcelain fused to metal. Resin-bonded bridges are a framework made of metal covered with porcelain.