Home HealthTopics Health Centers Reference Library Research
Join us on Facebook Join us on Facebook Share on Facebook

Crowns, Bridges, Dentures, Implants

Is the bridge my answer?

04/24/2008

Question:

Hi, I`m confused as to what I want to do. I met my dentist for the first time two dental appointments ago. He seems very reputable ( a good friend had recommended him), and was very inticate about my x-rays/first dental exam, not to mention he was very personalbe, and made me feel very comfortable in an embarrassing situation. Before him, unfortunatley, I had not been to a dentist for quite some time. I had two broken teeth in the front of my mouth, I believe they are called the canine, or eye teeth, that understandably I was embarrassed about, and expressed a great concern for correcting. In my xrays the decay in the 2 teeth had not quite made it to the middle root, leaving us with a couple of options. Right away he had said to me that I had 2 options(actually 3 if you wanted to include implants...but said I did not want to go that route because of the cost) I could have a root canal and get crowns, but my smile would not end up as white as it would be if I got a bridge, and the bridge is more cost effective leaving money to correct other concerns. So after that first visit I was sold on the idea of getting the bridge...hands down. (pros I learned from my intial visit were my teeth are really straight,I was asked if I had ever had braces-which I have not, and also my bite is near perfect) My next appointment I had my deep clean and after informed my dentist I was going with the bridge. But when shown the model My stomach turned, I will have to have my teeth next to the 2 eye teeth filed down? This makes me very nervous, I can`t see destroying teeth that are not in a bad condition. My mother also told me after my first visit when I was sold on the bridge thinking they were only going to deal with the 2 bad teeth, she always thought it was best to try and keep your real teeth as long as possible. I`m worried about the long run, what if for whatever reason a bridge ends up not working out for me and I have these `nubs` for teeth in the front of my mouth? I`m very torn, and trying to make an informative decision, can you please help shed some light for me? ( I have a temp. fill in my 2 front teeth, and I have 2 weeks before my next appointment, we have not yet made impressions for the temp. acrylic bridge)

Answer:

I recommend that you get a second opinion from a prosthodontist. In general, single tooth implants are about the same cost as a bridge to replace one tooth. Therefore, the total cost is not greatly different. Most dentists would prefer the implant if they needed to replace their own tooth. The implant is easier to keep clean than a bridge and saves the adjacent teeth from being filed down. The bridge is a better option for patients who for health reasons cannot have the surgery or have adjacent teeth that would benefit from crowns for other reasons.

For more information:

Go to the Crowns, Bridges, Dentures, Implants health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Nancy L Clelland, DMD, MSD Nancy L Clelland, DMD, MSD
Professor of Restorative & Prosthetic Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University