Types of Fixed Partial Dentures

Updated February 21, 2017

Fixed partial dentures, or bridges, are synthetic teeth made to replace the space where teeth are lost or missing. They're cemented or bonded onto other teeth, and can't be removed by the recipient. Fixed partials are made from a variety of materials including ceramic, metal alloys, combination metal and ceramic, and composite resin. There are many types available for a variety of dental conditions. Prices vary widely depending on the type of bridge used, materials and your previous dental condition.

Maryland Bridge

A Maryland bridge often consists of a ceramic tooth fused onto a metal or ceramic plate. Materials used can vary. The Maryland bridge contains retaining wings that adhere to the back of two adjacent teeth. This type of bridge is minimally invasive, economical and is ideal for those who only need to replace one tooth.

Cantilever Bridge

A cantilever bridge consists of materials similar to the Maryland bridge, except it's supported by one tooth instead of two. This is a common procedure when only one tooth is available next to the missing tooth. This type of bridge is aesthetically pleasing and ideal for front teeth or areas of the mouth under minimal stress.

Pier Abutment

Pier abutments are false teeth that span across either side of an existing tooth. The tooth anchors the bridge into place. They're made from a variety of materials and can be ideal for those missing two or more teeth adjacent to an existing tooth. Oftentimes, dental implants are recommended as an alternative to pier abutments.

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About the Author

Shelley Marie has been writing professionally since 2008 for online marketing and informational websites. Her areas of expertise include home, garden and health. She holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration and an associate degree in medical billing and insurance coding, both from Herzing University.