Right Left

Virgin Teeth and Bridge

When Ms. Yang became our patient 4 years ago, she had a bridge (Fig.1: #2-4) in her top right to replace the missing tooth #3.  She has another missing tooth in the top left (Fig.2: #14).  The neighboring teeth #13 and 15 are basically virgin teeth (i.e., without filling or crown).  Ideally, this missing tooth should be replaced with an implant.  Instead she got a bridge (Fig.4,6).  The two virgin teeth are sacrificed and get clumps oversized caps (compare Fig.6 white arrows (root width) and black arrows (crown width).  It is difficult to clean.  Before long (3 years), cavities develop underneath the caps of the back supporting teeth (Fig.3,4 *).  In addition, she cannot floss between the teeth (Fig.3,4 black line).  Heavy tartar develops above the junction (Fig.3,4 >).

The cavity on the right side finally causes severe pain; the bridge has to be cut off; root canal has to be done (Fig.5 R).  In spite of treatment, we do not know whether this tooth can be saved or not.

In brief, bridge is not a good option for missing teeth.  The crown or cap does not protect our tooth.  Implant is a much better solution.

Return to Adult, Senior (implant) Dental Care

Xin Wei, DDS, PhD, MS 1st edition 10/12/2014, last revision 10/13/2014