There can be a little bit of a challenge to this, however. When you lose a tooth, your body begins to remove the bone from your jawbone where there’s no tooth to stimulate it. The pontic from a dental bridge doesn’t stimulate the bone, so the area under a bridge might be short on bone to support a dental implant. We might have to perform a bone graft. Sometimes that would even require a second procedure, followed by a healing period, before we can place the implant.
Teeth Are Decayed, Damaged, or Broken
Sometimes, the teeth that used to support the dental bridge have been badly damaged during the time they supported the bridge. They might have been damaged by the same cause that led to the loss of your first tooth, for example. The stress of bearing the bridge could also cause structural damage to teeth. And sometimes decay can sneak up under a supporting crown.
In this case, we might recommend removing the supporting teeth and placing two dental implants. These implants can support a new dental bridge. The new dental bridge can then last for decades, even a lifetime. Dental implants can be lifetime restorations.
Can One Tooth Support a Bridge?
What if one of your teeth can’t support the bridge any longer, but the other is healthy? Can you support a dental bridge with just one tooth?
Not normally. In the past, we often used this solution, called a cantilever bridge. It’s not a good solution–it puts too much stress on the supporting tooth and makes it much more likely to fail. Before we had dental implants, we would use this solution because we didn’t have a better option. Now that we have a better option, this is not recommended.
Nor do we recommend supporting a bridge with one tooth and one implant. Implants are very similar to natural teeth, but they’re not identical. Over the repeated stresses of biting and chewing, that small difference can lead to failure of the implant, bridge, and/or tooth.
Let Us Design Your New Smile
If you are facing the loss of a dental bridge, you might be worried about the impact this will have on your smile. Let us put those fears to rest with a brand-new restoration that is beautiful, healthy, and durable. You can compare your options here to learn more.
To start the process of replacing your dental bridge in Tulsa, please call (918) 528-3330 today for an appointment with cosmetic dentist Dr. Meghan Hodges at élan.