What is a bridge?

Bridge is a dental prosthesis used to close gaps caused by missing teeth. A bridge is essentially nothing more than three or more crowns connected to close gaps created by one or more missing tooth. To fabricate a bridge, you need to have at least one healthy tooth on each side of the missing tooth. The number of units in each bridge describes the total number of attached crowns. The teeth used as anchors are known as abutment and the missing teeth which are being replaced are known as pontics.

What are my alternatives to a bridge?

Bridge is one option to replace one or more missing tooth. Placing a bridge is a much better option than leaving a gap between your teeth. Once you lose a tooth, adjacent two teeth and the opposing tooth or teeth start drifting into this missing gap. This creates bite problems and can lead to cavities on these neighboring teeth. Placing a bridge on your teeth prevents bite problems and cavities on neighboring teeth. The other option to replace missing teeth is either a dental implant or denture. Only your dentist can determine which is the best option for you. Schedule your consultation with Dr. Jazayeri to learn if you’re a candidate for bridge work or consider dental implant or dentures instead.

Bridge vs Implant

Is a bridge a good option to replace missing teeth?

In most cases, a dental implant is a better option than a bridge. This is primarily because dental implants don’t damage adjacent teeth whereas bridges require shaving of adjacent teeth. This could potentially lead to problems on these neighboring teeth and you may require a root canal or even lose the anchor teeth. Additionally, it is much more difficult to clean underneath a bridge as compared to a dental implant.

There are occasions however where placing a bridge makes more sense than a dental implant. For instance, if teeth adjacent to a missing tooth already have crowns, or require crowns, a bridge may be an easier approach to closing this gap. Other times there may not be enough bone to place an implant and a bridge might make more sense. Finally, if a gap is too narrow, there may not be enough physical space to place a dental implant. Again, a bridge becomes the better solution to close these gaps. Your dentist is best suited to access your mouth to determine if a bridge or implant is the better option for you.

To learn more about how to properly care for your bridge, click here.