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FAQ:  Failed Bridge



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Total Tooth Replacement:Treatment Example



Question:
Cannot replace bridge-need implants: I had a permanent bridge on the back three upper molars 21 years ago. This was done because the middle molar had to be extracted.

They apparently filed down the other two teeth to fit the bridge on it. It has given me no trouble until it fell out yesterday morning. I had a cavity in the back tooth which they tried to address through the bridge earlier this year. I think this is what weakened it.

Now they are saying that I can't get the bridge replaced because there is not enough natural tooth left on both teeth. My only option is 2 implants and a bridge or 3 implants or a removable bridge.

The problem is that insurance doesn't want to pay for two implants - so this will run me almost $9000 that I don't have. Is there no way this bridge can't be replaced?

I trust my endodonist as he did another implant on me that worked out great - but I just don't think I can afford this - but I don't want to go to a removable bridge like an old person.

I would like a second opinion but am unsure of who to go to as my regular dentist is very aggressive and would recommend the implant as well. ... Visitor from LA

Answer:
A conventional 3 unit bridge, like yours, involves modification of the anchor teeth for accommodating a bridge product.

Installation of another standard bridge requires healthy anchor teeth. Although you have a dentist who reports that implants are now required, a Prosthodontist may be able to replace the bridge without extracting the old anchor teeth and replace with implants (which is a normal procedure). Many of the Prosthodontists we know have a creative expertise that far outstrips what most dentists are capable of.

As a rule, insurance companies don't defray the cost of implants.

A Denture Partial is another popular teeth replacement option which can be very satisfactory both in cosmetic value and dental function for many patients.

Try to get an independent consult from a Prosthodontist with 15+ years treatment experience.

Editorial Staff

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