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A dental bridge is used to cover a gap left by a tooth that has been compromised in some way and either fallen out or been removed by a dentist. That is to say it is a false tooth which is secured to either one or both of the neighbouring teeth. They tend to be used when a patient does not wish to have dental implants which require surgery to replace the missing tooth. The neighbouring teeth used to anchor the new one are called abutments and the false tooth itself is called a pontic.

There are three types of bridge, an adhesive or Maryland, a cantilever or a conventional.

Adhesive Bridge

Sometimes called a Maryland this requires minimal preparation of the neighbouring teeth which are to be used as the abutment. The bridge is then bonded onto the abutment.

Cantilever Bridge

It is only necessary to cap one of the abutments and then bond the pontic to this same tooth.

Conventional Bridge

This requires preparing both abutments like a crown and to then fuse the pontic to the abutment.


Choices of finish
Adhesive /Maryland Gold/ceramic or combination
  • Minimal preparation of abutment so they last longer
  • Cheaper than conventional bridge
  • Reduced lab process
  • Reduced clinical time
  • Minimal chance of root canal required at a later stage
  • The bridge may become debonded
  • Typically only lasts for 5 years
  • Only suitable for front teeth
Cantilever Gold/ceramic or combination
  • Cheaper than conventional one
  • Reduced lab process
  • Reduced clinical time
  • Easier to clean than conventional Bridge
  • They are a fixed solution
  • It is necessary to prepare the neighbouring teeth resulting in sensitivity.
  • The bridge can only sustain a reduced amount of chewing.
  • Not suitable for all cases
Conventional Gold/ceramic or combination
  • The longest lasting bridge typically 10 – 15 years
  • Gives a fixed solution and especially good for those not wanting dental implant surgery
  • It is necessary to prepare the neighbouring teeth resulting in sensitivity.
  • Root Canal may be necessary
  • The most expensive, only Slightly less than implants
  • Thorough cleaning may be difficult