Dental bridges are false teeth, which are anchored onto neighbouring teeth in order to replace one or more missing teeth.
The false tooth is known as a pontic and is fused in between two crowns that serve as anchors by attaching to the teeth on each side of the false tooth, thereby bridging them together.
There are three main types of dental bridges:
Traditional fixed bridge
This is the most common type of bridge and consists of a pontic fused between between two porcelain crowns that are anchored on neighbouring teeth or implants. The pontic is usually made of either porcelain fused to metal or ceramics. These are fixed and cannot be removed.
Resin-bonded bridges or Maryland-bonded bridges
These are chosen when the gap to be filled is in between the front teeth, or when the teeth on either side of the missing tooth are strong and healthy without large fillings. The false tooth is made of plastic and is fused to metal bands that are bonded to the adjacent teeth using resin that is hidden from view.
These are generally used for areas such as front teeth that are susceptible to lower stress. Cantilever bridges are used when there are teeth present on only one side of the space, where the false tooth is anchored to one or more adjacent teeth on one side.
Bridges may be made up of porcelain, porcelain bonded to precious metal, all-metal dental bridges (gold).