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FAQ:  Failed Bridge



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Question:
Decay involving bridge: I've had a permanent bridge involving both eye teeth and the four front upper teeth in between for 25+ years without any problems til now.

This bridge was never permanently cemented, but has always been very solid and has allowed me to bite on anything I want. It also looks great.

Last week my dentist informed me there is a small decay where the bridge and my gumline meet (on one eye tooth). She says she can repair it without having to get that bridge off.

Is this possible? If not, will I have to redo the bridge, which would be extremely expensive? I am 70 years old. ... Visitor from MN

Answer:
It may indeed be possible to treat the leakage problem successfully. The extent of leakage and decay won't be fully realized until treatment begins.

If the decay extends into the interface area between the anchor tooth and the crown end of the bridge, the stability of that junction may become compromised. Building a new bridge may be required.

You are fortunate to have a dentist who is willing to try a conservative treatment. Many dentists would simply recommend replacing the bridge, due to the age of the bridge and the inability to accurately predict the outcome of treating an anchor tooth.

Editorial Staff

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