cantilever bridge dental

What is a Cantilever Bridge Dental? Exploring Uses, Benefits, and Drawbacks


The use of dental bridges is a common solution for individuals who are missing one or more teeth. These bridges, also known as pontics, are artificial teeth that fill the gap caused by missing teeth and connect the adjacent teeth on either side. One type of dental bridge is the cantilever bridge, which offers specific advantages and considerations. In this article, we will delve into the details of cantilever bridge dental, including its uses, benefits, drawbacks, the procedure involved, cost implications, and alternative procedures.

Uses of Cantilever Bridge Dental

Cantilever bridge dental is primarily utilized when a patient has a missing tooth with existing teeth on only one side of the gap. It is an effective solution when there are no healthy abutment teeth available to support a traditional bridge. By fitting the pontic in the gap and anchoring it to the remaining or healthy tooth on one side, a cantilever bridge provides stability and functionality.

Benefits of Cantilever Bridge Dental

Opting for a cantilever bridge dental offers several advantages that patients may find appealing:

  1. Closing the gap: If you are missing a tooth, a cantilever bridge dental can effectively eliminate the gap along your gumline, restoring a complete smile.
  2. Cost-effective: Due to its simplified design with fewer parts, a cantilever bridge dental may be a more affordable option compared to other dental bridge alternatives.
  3. Single abutment tooth: Unlike traditional bridges that require two abutment teeth for installation, a cantilever bridge dental relies on only one abutment tooth. This can be beneficial when neighboring teeth are not suitable for supporting a bridge.
  4. Time-efficient procedure: Compared to dental implants, the installation of a cantilever bridge dental is generally quicker, requiring fewer visits to the dentist.

Drawbacks of Cantilever Bridge Dental

While cantilever bridge dental offers advantages, there are also certain drawbacks to consider:

  1. Limited application: Cantilever bridges are typically recommended only when a single tooth is missing. Their usage is less suitable for areas of the mouth that require more force during chewing, such as the back teeth.
  2. Location matters: Research suggests that cantilever bridges may be more suitable for the front (anterior) part of the mouth rather than the back. The location of the bridge should be carefully considered to ensure long-term success.
  3. Risk of failure: Uneven pressure on the bridge due to teeth misalignment or excessive force during chewing may lead to breakage or loosening of the cantilever bridge over time.

The Cantilever Bridge Dental Procedure

The process of installing a cantilever bridge dental generally involves multiple visits to the dentist:

First visit:

  • Impressions of the teeth are taken to create the bridge.
  • The abutment tooth is prepared by removing some enamel and dentin to accommodate the crown.
  • Impressions are taken for a permanent crown.
  • A temporary crown or bridge may be placed while the permanent bridge is being fabricated in a dental lab.

Next visit:

  • If a temporary bridge was placed, it is removed.
  • The dentist fits the new bridge in place, adjusts it, and cements it in position.

Cost of Cantilever Bridge Dental

The cost of a cantilever bridge dental can range from $2,000 to $5,000, considering the pontic and crown for each abutment tooth. The actual cost may vary depending on the number of missing teeth to be replaced, the materials used, and the complexity of the installation process.

Insurance coverage for dental bridges varies, and it is advisable to consult with your insurance provider to understand the extent of coverage. For individuals without insurance or those concerned about the cost, discussing payment plans with the dentist may be a viable option.

Alternative Procedures to Cantilever Bridge Dental

If a cantilever bridge dental is not suitable for your situation, several alternative procedures can be considered:

  1. Traditional bridge: This type of bridge consists of an artificial tooth connected to crowns on abutment teeth on both sides, providing stability and functionality.
  2. Maryland bridge: Unlike traditional bridges, Maryland bridges do not require crowns on abutment teeth. They use a framework made of porcelain or metal to connect the replacement tooth to the adjacent teeth.
  3. Dental implant: In certain cases, a dental implant may be recommended as an alternative to a bridge. Dental implants provide a stable and long-lasting solution for missing teeth.
  4. Dental implant-supported bridge: This type of bridge involves replacing traditional crowns with dental implants, resulting in a highly durable and secure restoration. The process may take several months to complete.
  5. Partial dentures: Partial dentures are removable appliances that can be used to fill gaps left by missing teeth. However, they require regular maintenance and may not provide the same level of stability as other options.


When considering dental bridges, it is essential to explore the best option for your specific needs. Cantilever bridge dental offers advantages such as cost-effectiveness and the ability to rely on a single abutment tooth. However, it has limitations in terms of its application and location suitability. Alternative procedures, including traditional bridges, Maryland bridges, dental implants, dental implant-supported bridges, and partial dentures, may provide viable alternatives depending on individual circumstances. Consulting with your dentist will help determine the most appropriate solution for your missing teeth, ensuring a restored smile and improved dental functionality.