Dental bridge: When you should consider getting a bridge


Oceansight Dental & Implants

Office of Dr. Ali John Jazayeri

106 S Ola Vista

San Clemente, CA 92672

Tel: (949) 481 – 2540

Fax: (949) 481-2544


Request an appointment:

What is a dental bridge?

  • before-dental-bridge
    Missing 2 front teeth

A dental bridge is a fixed prosthesis used to replace missing teeth by closing gaps between two teeth. A bridge is essentially 3 or more crowns connected to one another. The bridge attaches to natural teeth on both sides and fills in the gap. Placing a bridge requires your dentist to shave the tooth in front and the one behind the missing space. Teeth which are used as anchors for the bridge are known as abutments and the missing tooth is known as a pontic. Keep in mind, you need to have at least one tooth in front and one behind the missing gap in order to place a bridge. If you’re missing a terminal tooth then placing a bridge is no longer an option.

To learn more about dental bridges and how they can restore your smile, give us a call today. Contact us at (949) 481-2540 to see how we can help you replace your missing teeth. Dr. Jazayeri will go over all of your treatment options to help you decide if a bridge is a good treatment option for you.

What are the benefits of getting a bridge?


Missing teeth leads to bite problems, increased risk of cavities, gum disease and damage to your other teeth

Placing a bridge is one option to replace one or more missing teeth.If you ever lose a tooth, you never want to ignore the resulting gap. Neglecting to replace a missing tooth can lead to problems affecting your whole mouth. Here are some of the undesirable consequences of tooth loss:

Bite problems

Teeth in front, behind and opposing the missing tooth all start moving into the missing gap

Once you lose a tooth you are left with a large gap in your mouth. Whenever there is a gap, your remaining teeth slowly drift into this space over the years. As a result, the tooth in front, behind and opposing the gap, all start moving into this missing space. Eventually, this completely messes up your bite on that side of your mouth. Having a poor bite leads to tooth fracture, failure of dental restorations, headaches and other dental and facial problems.

Increased risk of cavities and bone loss

Having a missing tooth makes it harder to clean that area. It becomes very difficult to clean the neighboring teeth so you are more likely to develop cavities or infections on them. This also increases the likelihood of developing bone loss as a result of food trap and teeth shifting. Consequently, you could end up losing more teeth over the years, all as a result of one single missing tooth!

Damage to your remaining teeth

The more teeth that you lose, the more you stress and damage your remaining teeth

You may think that losing one tooth is not that big of a deal. After all, we have 28 adult teeth, so how important can one tooth be? The problem is, every time you lose a tooth you’re increasing the stress exerted onto your remaining teeth. This added stress increases the chances of cracking and damaging your remaining teeth. The more teeth that you lose, the more you stress and damage your remaining teeth. Eventually, this can cause an avalanche effect and cause you to lose more and more teeth, sometimes even all of your teeth!

If you’re missing a tooth it’s always best to replace it. By placing a bridge to replace your missing tooth you can prevent your remaining teeth from shifting. This makes it easier to maintain proper hygiene, protects your bite and supports your remaining teeth. To see if you are a good candidate for dental bridges, give us a call at (949)481-2540. Come visit us in our San Clemente dental office today to see how it is we can help you with your smile. Dr. Jazayeri will go over all of your treatment options to help you come up with a solution that is best for you.

Is bridge a better option than a denture?

  • bridge-versus-dental-implant
    A bridge is secured onto two adjacent teeth to close a gap in your mouth.

There are 3 options to replacing a missing tooth. One option is a bridge, another is dental implant and the last one is denture. Typically, a dental bridge is preferred to dentures, especially when you’re missing one or two teeth. Here is why bridges are typically preferred over dentures:

  • Bridges are fixed in your mouth whereas dentures come in and out which makes them difficult to wear and often times painful as well
  • With bridges you get excellent chewing capacity whereas with dentures you only get 25 to 40% chewing capacity as compared to natural teeth
  • Finally, bridges feel like your own teeth but wearing dentures can be awkward and quite uncomfortable

Is bridge a better option than a dental implant?

In most cases, dental implants are a better option for replacing your missing teeth when compared to bridges. There are several reasons why we usually recommened getting a dental implant in place of a bridge. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Dental implants don’t damage your adjacent teeth whereas placing a bridge requires shaving two teeth at a minimum. Shaving these teeth could lead to problems such as cavities or even infection. It’s not uncommon to require a root canal or lose on of the supporting teeth if your bridge fails in the future.
  • Dental implants are much easier to clean as compared to bridges. You clean dental implants like you clean your natural teeth. On the other hand, cleaning the gap underneath a bridge can be quite challenging and requires special instruments. Occasionally, you simply can’t clean this area properly and it becomes a constant food trap.
  • Many times placing a bridge is not even an option and your only choice is to place a dental implant. In order to place a bridge, you need to have at least one healthy tooth on each side of the missing gap. If you’re missing your terminal teeth or missing several teeth next to each other then placing a bridge is not even an option.

This is not to say that you should never place a bridge on your teeth. In fact, there are some cases where placing a bridge makes more sense than placing a dental implant. Here are some examples of instance where a bridge is more practical than a dental implant:

Full mouth rehabilitation

If teeth adjacent to a missing gap already require crowns then placing a bridge might make more sense than a dental implant

Oftentimes during full mouth rehabilitation a bridge is placed instead of a dental implant. If the teeth adjacent to a missing gap require new crowns, then placing a bridge makes more sense than a dental implant. After all, the point of avoiding a bridge is not to shave the adjacent teeth. But if these teeth already require crowns then why not just convert them into a bridge? This will save you time and money and does not adversely affect other teeth.

Insufficient bone

You may have to perform extensive bone graft procedures to restore your jaw bone for dental implants

Sometimes there simply is not enough bone to place a dental implant. In these cases, you have to perform extensive bone graft procedures to restore your jaw bone in order to place a dental implant. Not everyone wants to do that so it might make be better to place a bridge instead of a dental implant. You could have your bridge in 1 to 3 weeks but the implant procedure could take months, sometimes even years, to complete treatment!

Too small of a gap

If there is not enough space to insert a dental implant between two teeth then placing a bridge is your only option

Sometimes the gap between two teeth is too narrow to place a dental implant. You need a minimum 7 mm of bone between two teeth in order to successfully place a dental implant. If there is not enough space to for the dental implant, then placing a bridge is your only option. Ok, that’s not entirely true. You can get braces or wear clear aligners, open up the gap, then place a dental implant. But not everyone wants to do all of this. Placing a bridge closes these small gaps effectively without the need for braces, bone grafting and dental implants.

If you’re still trying to decide on what’s your best treatment option, we recommend you schedule a consultation with Oceansight Dental & Implants. During your consultation, we can help you decide which option is best for your needs. Give us a call today at (949) 481-2540 or schedule your consultation online today. Come visit us in our San Clemente, Orange County office to learn more about your different treatment options from Dr. Jazayeri.

Crown and bridge treatment in San Clemente, Orange County

We offer all sorts of treatments including dental bridges, dentures and dental implants.

If you’re missing teeth we can help you, whether it’s one tooth or all of your teeth! Give us a call today at (949)481-2540 or book your appointment online today. We offer all sorts of solutions for missing teeth including dental bridges, dentures and dental implants. Our dentist, Dr. Jazayeri, will work with you to determine which is the best treatment option for you. We will present pros and cons of different treatment options so you can understand what each one offers and which is best for you. Give us a call today to see how easy fixing your missing teeth can be. The longer you wait, the more your teeth move and the more difficult it becomes to fix your condition.

Interested in purchasing treatment directly online? Click on the link below to go to my online store now:


If you’re interested in learning more about different treatments related to dental bridges, click on the following links:

Definition of General Dentistry Terminology

Abscess (cyst)

A pus pocket containing harmful bacteria that forms around infected teeth. Teeth with abscess are considered infected and they either need root canal treatment or must be extracted.

Amalgam (silver filling)

Material used to fill dental cavities. Amalgam is silver colored and contains Mercury. As a filling material, Amalgam is durable and effective. However, there are some concerns about the safety of using Mercury to restore teeth.

Bicuspid tooth

Refer to premolar tooth please.

Canine tooth (cuspid or eye tooth)

A strong, pointed tooth with a single cusp used to direct other teeth as we chew side-to-side. Canine teeth are very strong and typically outlast all other teeth as we age. We have 4 total canines, teeth numbers: 6, 11, 22 and 27.

Cavity (decay)

A hole inside a tooth created by harmful cavity bugs. Dental cavities can cause slight tooth sensitivity, particularly to cold and sweets. They can also be asymptomatic. If left untreated, dental cavities infiltrate the tooth pulp and cause abscess and infection.

Composite resin (white filling)

Material used to fill dental cavities and broken teeth. Composite resin is safe, effective and matches your tooth color. Cosmetic dentists prefer using composite resins to other filling restoration material due to their natural appearance.

Crown (cap)

A large restoration that replaces the majority of your tooth structure above the gum line. Crowns are used to fix teeth which can no longer be salvaged with a simple filling. Crowns are typically made from gold, porcelain-fused-to-metal or ceramic material.


Refer to cavity please.

Deep cleaning (scaling & root planning)

A type of dental cleaning which focuses on removing plaque and tartar underneath your gum line. Deep cleanings are used to treat gum disease. Most deep cleanings are performed in multiple sessions and often times require anesthesia.

Dental cleaning

Teeth cleaning performed by your dentist or hygienist. Dental cleaning focuses on removing plaque and tartar which can’t be removed by brushing or flossing alone. Dental cleanings are categorized as simple cleaning or deep cleaning.


The middle portion of your tooth which is located above the pulp and underneath the enamel. Unlike enamel, dentin has nerve endings which makes it sensitive to tooth decay.


Removable, false teeth used to replace your missing natural teeth. Dentures are made from pink and white acrylic. The pink portion secures your dentures in place and the white segment replaces your missing teeth. There are many different types of dentures including full dentures and partial dentures.


The very hard outer portion of your tooth. In fact, enamel is the hardest tissue found in our bodies. Enamel protects your tooth from cavities and provides it with the strength to cut and chew food.


Material used by dentists to replace missing tooth structure. Fillings are used to fix dental cavities and broken teeth. Fillings are made from gold (mostly obsolete), Amalgam (silver filling) or composite resin (white filling).

Full Denture (Complete denture)

A set of false teeth which replaces all of your teeth in one arch. Full dentures are held in place by the suction they provide against your gum tissue. Full dentures are typically made from pink and white acrylic.


The earlier stage of gum disease. Gingivitis is characterized by bleeding gums, bad breath and minor tooth sensitivity. If left untreated, gingivitis progresses to the more advanced stage of gum disease known as periodontitis.

Gum Disease (Periodontal disease)

Disease of the gums and jaw bone. Gum disease is caused by spread of harmful bacteria to your gum and jaw bone. Gum disease causes bleeding gums, bone loss and tooth loss. Gum disease is categorized as gingivitis and periodontitis.

Impacted Tooth

A tooth which is trapped underneath your jaw bone. Impacted tooth typically refers to wisdom teeth, although other teeth can also be impacted. Impacted wisdom teeth usually need to be removed. Other impacted teeth need to be removed, monitored or uprighted by your orthodontist.

Incisor tooth

The front most four teeth in your upper and lower jaw. Incisor teeth are used to cut food particles. We have 8 total incisors, teeth numbers: 7, 8, 9, 10, 23, 24, 25 and 26.


Spread of harmful bacteria into your tooth nerve. Once cavity bugs reach your tooth nerve, the tooth is now infected. Infected teeth can only be fixed with a root canal or you must remove the tooth completely.


A type of crown which is a hybrid between fillings and crowns. Inlays are essentially conservative crowns which protect teeth similar to a crown but are conservative similar to a filling. Inlays are smaller than onlays and do not encompass your outer tooth walls.

Molar tooth

Teeth located in the back of our mouth which have four cusps. Molar teeth are large and used to crush food particles. We have 8 total molars, teeth numbers: 2, 3, 14, 15, 18, 19, 30 and 31. Additionally, some of us have 3rd molars or wisdom teeth which are teeth numbers: 1, 16, 17 and 32.


Refer to pulp please.

Night guard

A device worn at nights to protect your teeth against grinding. Night guards help reduce tooth fracture, TMJ pain and headaches. There are two types of night guards, generic night guards which you purchase online or from a local pharmacy and custom night guards which your dentist makes for you.


A type of crown which is a hybrid between fillings and crowns. Onlays are essentially conservative crowns which protect teeth similar to a crown but are conservative similar to a filling. Onlays are larger than inlays and encompass at least one or more of your outer tooth walls.

Partial Denture

A set of false teeth which replaces some, but not all, of your missing teeth. Partial dentures are held in place by anchoring to your remaining teeth as well as suction against your gum tissue. Partial dentures can be made from different material including metals, acrylic and flexible resin.

Periodontal disease

Refer to gum disease please.


The more advanced stage of gum disease. Periodontitis is characterized by bone loss, major tooth sensitivity and loose teeth. If left untreated, periodontitis causes your teeth to loosen and fall out. Plus, the resulting infection can spread to the rest of your body and affect your overall health.

Premolar tooth (bicsupid)

Transitional teeth between our front and molar teeth. Premolars have two cusps and are used to crush food particles. They are also the teeth most commonly removed for braces treatment. We have 8 total bisupids, teeth numbers: 4, 5, 12, 13, 20, 21, 28 and 29.

Pulp (nerve)

The innermost tooth layer which lies underneath your dentin. Your tooth pulp contains nerves and blood vessels. When your tooth pulp becomes damaged this results in a toothache. Once this happens, you require a root canal treatment or must remove the tooth.


Pulpotomy is the equivalent of a baby root canal. It entails removing the nerve structure from infected baby teeth. Performing a pulpotomy eliminates toothache while allowing your child to keep the tooth itself in order to prevent potential orthodontic complications.

Root canal treatment

A procedure to remove infected tooth nerve to eliminate pain and infection. During root canal treatment your dentist will disinfect your tooth and replace the missing nerve with sterile material known as Gutta Percha. Root canal treatment eliminates pain and infection and allows you to keep the tooth.

Scaling & root planning

Refer to deep cleaning please.


A preventive treatment used to protect children’s teeth. Dental sealants are placed on teeth with deep groves, typically molars, to protect them against tooth decay and infection. Sealants are very effective and safe and do not require any tooth structure removal.


Techniques used to calm patients with anxiety during dental treatment. There are many different sedation techniques in dentistry such as Nitrous Oxide, oral conscious sedation, IV sedation and general anesthesia.

Silver filling

Refer to Amalgam please.

Simple cleaning

A dental cleaning performed in absence of gum disease. Simple cleanings typically entail basic tooth scraping and polishing, occasionally with Fluoride treatment. Most people require a simple cleaning once every 6 months, although if you’re suffering from gum disease you need one every 3 to 4 months.

Third molar

Refer to wisdom tooth please.

White filling

Refer to composite resin please.

Wisdom tooth (third molar)

Tooth which is located all the way in the back of your mouth. Wisdom teeth start erupting in your late teens or twenties. Not everyone has wisdom teeth. For those that do, there’s a high probability that you have to remove these teeth. Otherwise, they will cause pain, swelling and infection.

Oceansight Dental & Implants

General, Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry

Office of Ali John Jazayeri

106 S Ola Vista

San Clemente, CA 92672

back to the top