Types of Dental Bridges

NewsGuard 100/100 Score

There are three main types of dental bridges: traditional fixed bridges, cantilever bridges and Maryland bonded bridges. Each of these is described in more detail below, as well as a section to uncover the differences between them and the indications for the use of each type of dental bridge.

Traditional Fixed Bridges

Traditional fixed bridges create a filler tooth that is supported by crowns placed over healthy teeth on either side of the gap in the mouth to keep the bridge in place. This is the most common type of bridge, and it is typically made from porcelain fused to metal or ceramics.

This type of bridge is used to replace missing teeth where there are healthy teeth on either side of the gap that are able to support a bridge between them. Both of these teeth will need to be reshaped and fitted with crowns before the bridge can be placed, to ensure they are strong enough to support the bridge.

Bonded Fixed-fixed Bridge Preparation. Image Credit: RCB Shooter / Shutterstock
Bonded Fixed-fixed Bridge Preparation. Image Credit: RCB Shooter / Shutterstock

Cantilever Bridges

Cantilever bridges can be utilized when there are no teeth on one side of the missing tooth where the pontic can be fixed, so only one side supports the bridge with a healthy tooth and crown.

This is also indicated for certain clinical situations when there are no teeth on both sides of the missing teeth. Again, a situation may occur when it is not desirable to prepare teeth on both sides for a crown for aesthetic reasons, for example, if a front tooth is on one side of the missing tooth. It is also used if it is the back tooth that is missing. Additionally, if the abutment is already supporting another prosthetic restoration it may not be able to support a traditional fixed bridge.

Cantilever bridges are designed for the pontic to be located outside of the abutment teeth. They involved increased, off-the-axis forces to act on the abutment tooth and support the pontic. As a result, their placement must be carefully planned out to reduce the risk of destabilizing the abutment teeth.

Cantilever Tooth Bridge - Roseville Dentist

Maryland Bonded Bridges

Maryland bonded bridges, also known as resin-bonded bridges, are commonly used to replace front teeth.

They are made from a metal framework with porcelain fused to metal teeth.

The pontic is fixed to the adjacent healthy teeth with metal or porcelain wings on either side of the bridge, which are fixed behind the adjacent teeth.

The Maryland bridge is a more conservative alternative than the traditional fixed bridge because it does not require reshaping and the placement of crowns on the adjacent teeth. Instead, the metal wings fit behind the abutment teeth.

Dentist - Maryland Bridge Procedure

Uses of Different Types of Dental Bridges

Each type of dental bridge is intended for a specific purpose. They are all used to replace a missing tooth but each has certain characteristics that make it preferable for particular situations.

The traditional fixed bridge is preferred in most situations because it offers the most strength for the bridge, from abutment teeth on either side of the pontic. However, if there is no place to fix the bridge on one side of the gap, a cantilever bridge may need to be used. This uses off-the-axis forces on the abutment tooth to support the pontic on only one side. Finally, a Maryland bonded bridge may be the best option for abutment teeth that are highly visible, such as those at the front of the mouth. With this type of bridge, there is no need to reshape the tooth and fix a crown because the pontic can adhere to the back of the abutment teeth.


  1. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/dental-bridges
  2. https://www.bsrd.org.uk/
  3. http://www.infodentis.com/dental-bridge/features.php
  4. http://www.infodentis.com/dental-bridge/cantilever-bridge.php
  5. https://www.slideshare.net/Yumzz/types-of-crown-bridges

Further Reading

Last Updated: Dec 29, 2022

Yolanda Smith

Written by

Yolanda Smith

Yolanda graduated with a Bachelor of Pharmacy at the University of South Australia and has experience working in both Australia and Italy. She is passionate about how medicine, diet and lifestyle affect our health and enjoys helping people understand this. In her spare time she loves to explore the world and learn about new cultures and languages.


Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Smith, Yolanda. (2022, December 29). Types of Dental Bridges. News-Medical. Retrieved on May 23, 2024 from https://www.news-medical.net/health/Types-of-Dental-Bridges.aspx.

  • MLA

    Smith, Yolanda. "Types of Dental Bridges". News-Medical. 23 May 2024. <https://www.news-medical.net/health/Types-of-Dental-Bridges.aspx>.

  • Chicago

    Smith, Yolanda. "Types of Dental Bridges". News-Medical. https://www.news-medical.net/health/Types-of-Dental-Bridges.aspx. (accessed May 23, 2024).

  • Harvard

    Smith, Yolanda. 2022. Types of Dental Bridges. News-Medical, viewed 23 May 2024, https://www.news-medical.net/health/Types-of-Dental-Bridges.aspx.


  1. Tim Cornwall Tim Cornwall United States says:

    What are the titles of the one type of bridge used when there are 2 caps at each end of the bridge to hold the bridge in place at the back of the mouth. The different materials used on one type of bridge.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
Post a new comment

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.