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North Brooklyn Dental Care

Tooth Replacement: The Dental Bridge

Good day! I wanted to start a series on tooth replacement. We will start off specifically with how to deal with a single missing tooth.

dental-bridge-pic1The bridge. When we talk about bridges we’re talking about one solid unit that goes over the teeth on both sides of the missing tooth, thus adding a tooth to the space.

This may seem like a good idea because insurance sometimes covers it, however, it can lead to a very bad situation. Let’s think about this from a logic stand point. We would now be putting the stress and forces of three teeth onto two teeth. Teeth are meant to take the force of the tooth opposing them, not more. This can lead to failure.

How easy is hygiene? A bridge covering an area, and the two teeth next to it, can make it very difficult to clean effectively. Up to 15% of the teeth adjacent to the space will require a root canal after this procedure. 26% of these teeth will fail within 15 years, that means they may need to be extracted as well!In fact, 8% to 12% of these abutment teeth are lost within 10 years!

Here’s the real disturbing part: up to 80% of the teeth on the sides of the space, the ones being grinded down to make the bridge, have NO cavity or decay on them! That means that they are PERFECTLY fine, and don’t need to be touched.

I’m not going to rant, I just want to explain why I try as hard as humanly possible to avoid “the bridge”. Hope this helped. So what do we do then? You ask. The dental implant is the PERFECT way to restore a single missing tooth (and a whole bunch of missing teeth as well!). More on that to come next time. Be well, and enjoy the winter!