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Dental Bridge

Dental Bridge

Dental Bridges are false teeth that replace missing teeth by anchoring to one or two of the neighboring teeth. The false tooth is known as the pontic and the anchoring teeth are known as abutments. They are an alternative to dental implants for whose patients who do not wish to have surgery.

Dental Bridge

There are different types of dental bridge:

Conventional bridges

This involves preparing the neighboring teeth (abutments) so that they become like crowns/caps and the false tooth (pontic) is then fused to the abutment crowns. This type of bridge can be made in gold, ceramic, or gold/ceramic combination.

Pros and Cons


  • Average lifespan is around 10-15 years, this is much longer than adhesive bridges.
  • Offers a fixed option for replacing gaps for those who do not wish to have implant surgery.


  • Preparation of the neighbouring teeth is necessary and so this can make those teeth more sensitive for a while. Occasionally the tooth sensitivity does not settle and the abutment tooth ends up needing root canal treatment.
  • Cost of this type of bridge is only slightly cheaper than dental implants.
  • Cleaning underneath these bridges can be more difficult and will require good oral hygiene technique.

Adhesive bridges (Also known as Maryland bridges)

Maryland bridges involve no preparation or very little preparation of the inside of one or two neighboring teeth (abutments) and the false tooth (pontic) is then bonded using wings to the inside wall of the neighboring teeth. This type of bridge can also be made in gold, ceramic or gold/ceramic combination.

Pros and Cons


  • Very little or no preparation of the neighbouring abutment teeth is necessary thus preserving them for longer.
  • Often cheaper than conventional bridges as less clinical time and lab time is required.
  • Likelihood of root canal treatment becoming necessary with maryland bridges is very remote.


  • De-bonding of this bridge is more common than conventional bridges.
  • Average lifespan is around 5 years, although some last longer.
  • Generally unsuitable for back missing teeth and more suited for missing front teeth.

Cantilever bridges

This type of bridge involves capping just one neighbouring tooth (abutment) and the false tooth (pontic) bonds to this one neighbouring tooth. This type of bridge can also be made in gold, ceramic or gold/ceramic combination.

Pros and Cons


  • Often cheaper than conventional bridges as less clinical time and lab time is required.
  • Cleaning these bridges is generally easier than conventional bridges.
  • Cantilever bridges are fixed and patients generally prefer a fixed solution for a missing tooth to a removable solution such as a denture.


  • Preparation of the neighbouring tooth is necessary and so this can make that tooth more sensitive for a while.
  • Less chewing load can be applied to this type of bridge compared to conventional bridges, so its not suitable for all clinical situations.

Dental bridge Case study

The photos below, show the case of a patient who presented to us to have her genetically missing teeth replaced with adhesive bridges. We replaced her with two missing lateral incisors with two no tooth drilling belleglass fiber reinforced adhesive bridges.

tooth bridge

What is the procedure for having a dental bridge?

  1. Assessment of the tooth clinically and with an X-ray to ensure the roots of the tooth are sound and the tooth is vital. Preparation of the tooth for a bridge if necessary and taking digital scans for the lab to construct the bridge. A temporary restoration is provided in the meantime to protect the tooth if tooth preparation has been carried out.
  2. Pearl Dental Clinic is one of few clinics in UK that Provide dental bridges using the iTero digital scanning system.

    The iTero handheld wand takes a digital, 3D image of your teeth, preventing the need for traditional impressions which can cause some patients to gag. You can look at the iTero 3D image of your teeth on the screen in real-time.

    Rather than posting impressions to the lab to be poured up which could take weeks, the digital image is electronically sent to the dental laboratory immediately and is available for them to work on the case immediately. itero digital scanner

    The accuracy and detail of the iTero digital scans vs traditional teeth impressions is kind of like watching high definition TV over standard definition TV.

    These digital scans don’t need to be rescanned so by removing the “clay modelling step” we have greatly improved the accuracy and the speed of your dental bridge treatment.

  3. Optional review at the lab for shade selection in the case of front teeth bridges.
    1-2 weeks later
  4. Fit of the final dental bridge once its returned from the lab.


At Pearl dental clinic, we will always provide you with a full written treatment plan so that you are fully aware of the costs involved with your treatment. We have published all of our fees on our web site, so that there are no hidden costs. We also provide 0% dental finance on most treatments allowing you to spread the cost of treatment without interest. Finance can usually be arranged within 24 hours. 

Pearl Dental Clinic is open 7 days a week from 9am to 10pm. You can book an appointment by calling us on 0203 750 5300 or emailing us or booking an appointment online


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