A bridge is a fixed prosthesis that is used to replace one or more missing teeth.

Photograph of front teeth before replacement with dental bridge showing the missing of lateral incisors.
Before treatment
Photograph of front teeth after replacement with dental bridge showing the replacement of the lost lateral incisors.
After treatment

Purpose
  • To replace missing teeth in order to prevent the drifting of neighbouring teeth into the tooth space, which will result in tilted teeth or abnormal bite.

  • To restore the functions of teeth, including mastication, speech and esthetics.
Mechanism
  • A bridge is being anchored by the teeth on either side of the tooth space; it can also be fixed by a metal wing extending from either side of the bridge.

  • A bridge can be used together with crowns.
Material
Types

Conventional Bridge

  • Mechanism
    • The crowns on both ends of the bridge act as anchors and hold the bridge in place.

  • Properties
    • Suitable for stress bearing area
    • Bridge can be relatively longer

  • Procedures for conventional bridge
    • Grind the neighbouring teeth on both sides of the tooth space into appropriate shape according to the design of the bridge.
    • Take impressions of the upper and lower dental arches and record the bite.
    • Fabricate the bridge in the dental laboratory.
    • Try in the finished bridge in the patient’s mouth and make adjustments if needed.
    • Cement the bridge onto the prepared teeth.
      Animation of the process of placing a conventional dental bridge.

Cantilever Bridge

  • Mechanism
    • The bridge is only supported or fixed on one neighbouring tooth.

  • Properties
    • Suitable for low stress bearing area
    • Can only replace one missing tooth
    • (For example, replacement of a lateral incisor by a cantilever bridge anchored by the central incisor

  • Procedures for cantilever bridge
    • Grind the neighbouring tooth of the missing tooth into appropriate shape according to the design of the bridge.
    • Take impressions of the upper and lower dental arches and record the bite.
    • Fabricate the bridge in the dental laboratory.
    • Try in the finished bridge in the patient’s mouth and make adjustments if needed.
    • Cement the bridge onto the prepared tooth.
      Animation of the process of placing a cantilever bridge.

Maryland Bridge

  • Mechanism
    • The bridge is anchored by metal wings extending from both ends, and bond to the neighbouring teeth by cement.

  • Properties
    • Only suitable for low stress bearing area
    • The teeth used to support the bridge should have enough enamel structure

  • Procedures for Maryland bridge
    • Grind the inner surfaces of neighbouring teeth of the missing tooth into appropriate shape according to the design of the bridge.
    • Take impressions of the upper and lower dental arches and record the bite.
    • Fabricate the bridge in the dental laboratory.
    • Try in the bridge in the patient’s mouth and make adjustments if needed.
    • Complete processing the bridge in the dental laboratory.
    • Bond the bridge onto the prepared teeth with cement.
      Animation of the process of placing a Maryland bridge by composite resin.