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How a Dental Bridge Works When Only One Side Has Support

Posted on 3/10/2017 by Sergio Ortegon
A diagram of how a dental bridge works.
When you lose a tooth, several things happen. First, it affects your appearance, and can often leave you feeling self-conscious. Second, it can affect how well you eat. Food can become lodged, or it can be difficult to chew, which can affect digestion.

Finally, a missing tooth can affect your speech. A missing tooth should be replaced. One such way to do that is a dental bridge. Normally, a bridge uses both teeth adjacent to the gap to support it, but what happens when you only have one side?

Traditional Bridge

A traditional fixed bridge is a dental restoration that is supported by both teeth adjacent to the gap. The pontic (false) tooth is set between two crowns, which are anchored onto the abutment teeth. The abutment teeth are prepared, or filed down, in order for the crowns to fit properly over them. A bridge is typically made of ceramic based on molds of your mouth. However, there are some instances when there is only one adjacent tooth.

Cantilever Bridge

cantilever bridge is used in instances where you have only one nearby tooth to anchor the bridge. It is made in a similar process to a fixed bridge, from molds of your mouth, and usually out of ceramic. The biggest difference between a cantilever bridge and traditional fixed bridge is how they work.

How Does It Work?
A cantilever bridge supports a false tooth from only one side, however, it can be used in an area where there is less stress. Depending on how much support is needed, the bridge may be equipped with either one or two crowns. If two crowns are required, the layout is different from a traditional fixed bridge. Instead of having the false tooth between the crowns, the two crowns are next to each other with the false tooth on the end.

If your dentist decides that a dental bridge is the best option for your missing tooth, but you only have a single adjacent tooth to act as an anchor, you don't need to worry. A cantilever bridge can provide you with the support your bridge requires. Contact our office to learn more.

Meet the Dentist

•  Board Certified Prosthodontist
•  Maxillofacial Prosthodontist
•  Assistant Clinical Professor
•  17 Years of Clinical Experience

> Read more about Dr. Ortegon


dedicated to aesthetic, reconstructive, and dental implant dentistry. It is one of only nine dental specialties recognized by the American Dental Association (ADA). Different from a Periodontist, of ~150,000 dentists nationwide, only 2%, are Prosthodontists. > Read more

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Ortegon Prosthodontics, 4747 Bellaire Blvd, Bellaire, TX, 77401 - Associated Words: Dental Implants Bellaire TX \ Prosthodontist Houston \ Dental Implants Bellaire TX \ (832) 968-9108 \ \ 10/23/2018