Fixed Dental Bridges

Implants vs. Bridges

We see many patients that have existing, failing bridges—and they often request a new bridge. Here is why we don’t recommend bridges:

How do bridges work?

Implant Example

Bridges are a missing tooth solution that “bridge” two or more teeth together over a missing tooth. As you can see from the image, the bridge has to be anchored to at least two teeth in order to be properly affixed. Why is this bad?

  1. The two teeth that are the anchor points are often healthy teeth. Which means that we are weakening two teeth to replace one.
  2. If one of the teeth that are the bridge anchors have significant work, such as an existing root canal, it can be a weak support for the bridge, and can even break from chewing pressure.
  3. X-ray Example

  4. Bridges are hard to keep clean. We know patients sometimes neglect flossing. With a bridge, flossing is even more integral. Any bacteria or food debris that remains under a bridge can cause decay, which means the healthy teeth that were already shaved down can now further decay under the bridge.
  5. Multi Example

  6. Once a tooth is missing, bone loss is inevitable. Even if you do a perfect job of cleaning under the bridge, once your tooth has been extracted your bone levels will decrease where that tooth was. The bone loss can also affect the surrounding teeth.
  7. Bone Loss Image

With implants, you don’t have to weaken healthy teeth or receive a new bridge every 5-10 years. Implants integrate into the bone and tend to last for a lifetime! Please read more about implants here.