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An appliance attached to natural teeth or implants replacing missing, extracted, or unerupted teeth designed to restore function and usually aesthetics. A bridge may also be described as a fixed partial denture and, where it is retained by precision attachments and is capable of being removed by the patient, a removable partial denture. A cantilever bridge is attached to an abutment tooth at one end only. A bridge may be described as fixed–fixed where the retainers at both ends of the bridge are cemented or bonded to the abutment teeth, fixed–movable where only one end of the bridge is bonded to its abutment, or removable where the patient is capable of removing the entire bridge for cleaning or maintenance. The replacement tooth (pontic) or teeth are attached to the abutment teeth by means of one or more retainers.

Resin-bonded bridges, such as Maryland and Rochette bridges, require minimal tooth preparation. A Maryland bridge is retained by acid-etch bonding of the abutment teeth; the retention is further improved by acid-etching of the metal surfaces in contact with the abutment teeth; the bridge may be cantilevered from the abutment tooth or be fixed at either side. A Rochette bridge, attributed to Alain L. Rochette, French physician and dentist, and originally used to splint periodontally involved teeth, is bonded to its abutment teeth using the acid-etch technique and the retaining metal surfaces are perforated to provide additional mechanical retention.

Further Reading:

St George G., Hemmings K., Patel K. Resin-retained bridges re-visited Part 2. Clinical considerations. Primary Dental Care 2002;9(4):139–44.Barber M. W., Preston A. J. How successful are your resin-bonded bridges. European Journal of Prosthodontics and Restorative Dentistry 2008;16:2–9.

Fixed- fixed bridge

Fixed-fixed bridge—metal bonded

Components of a bridge

Maryland bridge

Rochette bridge

Resin-bonded bridges

Subjects: Dentistry.

Reference entries