San Anselmo Family Dentistry does bridges for patients who are missing teeth. A bridge is a structure that holds an artificial tooth and attaches it to your mouth to close the gap left by missing tooth or teeth. Bridges are custom-made for each patient, so that they fit perfectly in the gap and match the color of the natural teeth.

Bridges come in three types – traditional, Cantilever and Maryland bonded bridges.

Traditional bridges: Traditional bridges are the most common and are used when there are healthy natural teeth on either side of the gap. The bridge is made with the artificial tooth or teeth in the middle of two crowns. The teeth on either side of the gap are prepared so that the crowns can fit over them. The crowns are placed on the adjacent teeth and cemented into place. Traditional bridges are usually made with porcelain fused to metal or ceramics.

Cantilever bridges: A Cantilever bridge is less common than a traditional bridge and is used when there is only one healthy adjacent tooth. The procedure is the same as that of a traditional bridge, except that there is only one crown along with the replacement tooth. Cantilever bridges are not recommended for the back of the mouth where excessive pressure could damage the bridge.

Maryland bonded bridges: Maryland bonded bridges or Maryland bridges have the replacement tooth set in a gum-colored plastic with wings on either side. The wings that are either metal or plastic are bonded to the back of the adjacent teeth to keep the bridge in place. The artificial tooth is made of porcelain or porcelain fused to metal.


If you have a missing tooth or teeth and think you need a bridge, you can always call us to book an appointment. We will first conduct a dental examination to determine if a bridge is the right course of action for you. We will explain to you all your options and answer any questions you have.

To proceed with making a bridge, we will first need to prepare the adjacent teeth for the procedure. These teeth are called abutment teeth and are prepared by removing some of the enamel and shaping the teeth so that the crowns can fit comfortably over them. Once the abutment teeth are prepared we will need to take impressions of the teeth to make a mold and 3D model of the area where the bridge has to go.

The bridge will take a few weeks to be prepared and a temporary bridge will be fitted for you in the meantime. When the bridge is ready we will call you in for a second sitting during which time the temporary bridge will be replaced by the permanent one. The permanent bridge will fill up the gap where the missing tooth was and be cemented in place over the abutment teeth. The artificial teeth will be prepared to match the color of your natural teeth as closely as possible.

When the bridge is first put in place we check to make sure that it fits perfectly before cementing it. The bridge might take some getting used to but with time it will start to feel more natural. If you experience any pain, discomfort or other problems with the bridge you can always come in for a follow up visit and we will make any required adjustments.


After your bridge has been fitted we will give you a set of instructions on how to care for it. Regular and thorough dental hygiene is required, and you will be advised to avoid hard foods that could cause the bridge to crack or break.


Dental bridges serve a number of purposes which include:

  • They close the gap caused by missing teeth.
  • They help improve the smile.
  • They prevent the teeth adjacent to the gap from shifting.
  • They prevent misalignment of the remaining teeth.
  • They prevent food from getting stuck in the gap which can lead to bacterial growth and tooth decay.

To find out more about dental bridges please call one the numbers listed below, our team will be happy to assist you.