Four Different Types Of Dental Bridges Explained By Napa Dentist

February 6, 2024

Tooth loss is common and tends to be more prevalent after middle age. Typical causes of tooth loss include gum disease, severe decay, and injury. It's a common misconception that a person does not need to replace missing teeth, especially if the missing tooth is in the back of their mouth where it cannot be seen. Replacing missing teeth is an important part of restoring function and confidence in your smile.

  • To learn more about the importance of replacing missing teeth and the potential complications that may occur if missing teeth are not replaced, visit our blog post here.

Cosmetic Dentistry of Napa offers numerous dental treatment options to replace missing teeth. One treatment method is using an oral prosthetic called a dental bridge, which is designed to fill the space between your natural teeth. As its name suggests, the purpose of a dental bridge is to replace, or “bridge”, the space between one or more missing teeth. The following are four different types of dental bridges:

1) Traditional Dental Bridge

The most common dental bridge is called a Traditional Dental Bridge. This type of dental bridge may be an ideal solution for patients with only one missing tooth. The components of a traditional dental bridge are an artificial tooth called a pontic and two dental crowns that are adhered to the healthy teeth on either side of the gap. The dental crowns support the bridge, while the fake tooth bridges the gap left by a missing tooth.

To place a Traditional Dental Bridge, there must be healthy teeth on either side of the gap. Both of these teeth will need to be prepped to have dental crowns placed to support the bridge.

2) Maryland Dental Bridge

A Maryland Dental Bridge uses a metal framework to support itself. With this type of bridge, dental crowns are not required. Instead, a metal framework is wrapped around or bonded to the natural teeth on either side of the fake tooth. Since they do not require dental crowns, Maryland Dental Bridges may be preferred for patients who do not want their natural teeth altered or when replacing missing front teeth.

3) Cantilever Dental Bridge

Cantilever Dental Bridges are slightly different in structure than the other types of dental bridges. This is because this type of bridge uses a single natural tooth to support a fake tooth. Cantilever Dental Bridges are often easier to place and more affordable than the other types of dental bridges because they only require a dental crown to be placed on a single tooth. However, this also means that Cantilever Dental Bridges tend not to be as strong or stable as the other dental bridge types. For this reason, they can also be used towards the front of the mouth.

4) Implant-supported Dental Bridge

Implant-supported Dental Bridges are commonly used when a patient is missing three or more teeth in a row, and/or when the adjacent teeth around the gap cannot support dental crowns. In this case, a highly stable and more permanent solution may be required. With Implant-supported Dental Bridges, the anchor points are dental implants. Implants are small metal posts that are surgically implanted in your jawbone. An Implant-supported Dental Bridge requires that your adjacent teeth, jawbone, and gums be strong and healthy.


These four different types of dental bridges offer patients with missing teeth various restoration options depending on their specific needs, concerns, goals, budget, and oral health. While each dental bridge utilizes a similar structure to restore missing teeth, each type offers a different way to support the dental bridge. These options allow dental bridges to be used for patients with different dental needs.

Contact Us

If you’re missing one or multiple teeth and are ready to restore your smile, contact Cosmetic Dentistry of Napa to schedule an appointment and learn if dental bridges are right for you. To contact us, please call 707-257-7771 or conveniently fill out our online contact form.

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