If you are missing one or more teeth, a bridge may be fitted to stop the surrounding teeth from moving out of place and will be anchored by one or more crowns to restore cosmetic appearance and function.
The bridges can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials. Dental bridges are supported by natural teeth or implants.
There are four main types of dental bridges:
- Traditional bridge involves creating a crown for the tooth or implant on either side of the missing tooth, with a pontic (false tooth/teeth) in between. Traditional bridges are the most common type of bridge and are made of either porcelain fused to metal or ceramics.
- Cantilever bridge is used when there are adjacent teeth on only one side of the missing tooth or teeth. This is not very common any more and is not recommended in the back of the mouth where it can put too much force on other teeth and damage them.
- Maryland bonded bridge (also called a resin-bonded bridge or a Maryland bridge) is made of porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, or plastic teeth and gums supported by a metal or porcelain framework. Metal or porcelain wings on each side of the bridge are bonded to your existing teeth.
- Implant supported bridge is similar to a traditional dental bridge, but it is supported by implants and not by natural teeth. In most cases, when an implant-supported bridge is used, one implant is placed in the jawbone for each missing tooth. Then the crowns are connected to each other to form one piece