The Basics of Bridges
Bridges replace the visible portion of the tooth and extend down to, but not below, the gums. The bridge itself is attached to the adjacent teeth using dental crowns or small metal or porcelain wings. Your dentist will evaluate your specific needs and cosmetic preferences to determine the best type of bridge to restore your smile.
- A traditional bridge anchors one to two replacement teeth, called pontics, using dental crowns fitted on the adjacent healthy teeth. These bridges are typically made from porcelain fused to metal or ceramic materials for a realistic look. While dental crowns are typically used when one to two missing teeth require replacement, dental implants may be used to replace up to four adjacent missing teeth.
- Maryland bonded bridges hold one to two replacement teeth in place by cementing metal or porcelain tabs, sometimes called wings, to the back of adjacent natural teeth. This option does not require dental crowns to hold the bridge in place but can be limited in its placement options.
- A cantilever bridge is used in cases where the missing tooth only has one adjacent natural tooth to serve as an anchor. These bridges have certain limitations, such as the amount of force that can be placed on them, and are not as common as other types of bridges.