Importance of Dental Bridges

A bridge may be recommended if you’re missing one or more teeth. Gaps left by missing teeth eventually cause the remaining teeth to rotate or shift into the empty spaces, resulting in a bad bite. The imbalance caused by missing teeth can also lead to gum disease and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. Bridges are commonly used to replace one or more missing teeth. They span the space where the teeth are missing.

Bridges are multiple crowns attached to each other. Bridges are cemented to the natural teeth or, in some cases, to implants surrounding the empty space. These teeth, called abutments, serve as anchors for the bridge. A replacement tooth, called a pontic, is attached to the crowns that cover the abutments. As with single crowns, you have a choice of materials for bridges. Your dentist can help you decide which to use, based on the location of the missing tooth (or teeth), its function, aesthetic considerations and cost. Porcelain or ceramic bridges can be matched to the color of your natural teeth.

How Long do Bridges Last?

While bridges can last a lifetime, they do sometimes come loose or fall out. The most important step you can take to ensure the longevity of your bridge is to practice good oral hygiene. A bridge can lose its support if the teeth or bone holding it in place are damaged by dental disease. Keep your gums and teeth healthy by Brushing with fluoride toothpaste twice a day and flossing daily. Also see your dentist regularly for checkups and professional cleanings. To prevent damage to your new bridge, avoid chewing hard foods, ice or other hard objects.

  • Factor
  • Success rate:
  • Decay:
  • Risk of needing root canal?
  • Failure of abutment teeth due to fracture, abscess etc:
  • Prevents loss of bone at site of extraction?
  • Can be done if replacing the last tooth in the arch or in an area where there are no adjacent teeth?
  • 3-Unit Bridge
  • 50% fail within 10 years
  • Most common cause of failure
  • 15% of abutment teeth require root canal
  • 12% at 10 years, 30% at 15 years
  • No
  • No
  • Single Tooth Implant
  • 97%+ are successful after 10 years
  • No risk of decay
  • No risk of needing root canal
  • No additional risk since implants never fracture, or need root canals
  • Yes
  • Yes

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