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Bad Teeth: Dental Bridge Failures


Bridge types and choices

Failed Dental Bridges

Cosmetic bridgework can be created with two different types of support systems. Implant supported bridges are anchored with traditional dental implants on each end of the span. The infrastructure, or framework can be made of metal, zirconia and different grades or types of procelain. Depending on the length of the span, additional support implants or natural tooth structures may be incorporated within the span. Implant supported bridges are considered to be superior to bonded or cemented bridgework

Dental bridges that are anchored by natural teeth that are prepared to accommodate an especially prepared crown on each end of the bridge that is an integral part of the bridge device. Support structures may also be used along the span as needed. Bonding compounds are used to attach the bridge to the anchor teeth.

Bridgework that traverses an entire arch are usually categorized as a fixed bridge, attached by special cement products or by screws into strategically placed implants. This type of bridge is usually removed only by the dentist for cleaning and oral health maintenance purposes. A metallic framework usually incorporated to provide strength and long term endurance.

Acrylic bridges exist in the form of a denture product, which can be removal or non removable and supported either by implants, mini implants (actually a retention device-the denture still rests on the gum tissue) or gum tissue alone.

This gallery contains examples of common bridgework that has failed for any one or more several causes, which can include failure due to leakage and decay around anchor teeth, failure of dental implant anchors, cracked or broken due to occlusal factors, or failure due to bacteria build up that results from poor or untimely maintenance





Cosmetic, aesthetic failure of a tooth replacement procedure. A Maryland bridge can be a great solution for replacing a single, missing tooth. Of course, this assumes that premium products and technologies are used to create a tooth structure that best approximates the color, shading and texture characteristics of the adjacent teeth.

Implant dentistry provides the best long term solution for replacing a single tooth... especially in the anterior portion of the jaw. No adjacent teeth need modification to have a maryland bridge or conventional bridge cemented onto, thereby preserving all natural teeth. Future bridge failures due to leakage at anchor teeth or damage to the bridge structure due to excessive bite forces are eliminated. More importantly, bone tissue health is improved, not lost.

Ugly Maryland Bridge
Unacceptable Cosmetic Bridge Dentistry
Edward Brant, DDS, MS


Gum Disease and expensive bridgework don't mix.... Most adults know or at least have heard that having severe gum disease that goes untreated will cause bone - tissue loss and the inevitable loss of teeth. With bridgework, the danger of multiple loss is even worse. When one anchor tooth becomes loosened... the entire bridge begins to fail, rapidly. So... instead of losing one tooth... the potential is significant of losing ALL tooth structures involved in a dental bridge.

Repair and replacement treatments would include bone and tissue grafting as needed to restore - rebuild tissue health, include extractions of all other failed or diseased tooth structures, periodontal therapies, choice of multiple dental implants, crowns, grafting surgeries, installation of a fixed or removable bridge, denture partials.

Bridge and Anchor Tooth Loss
Wholesale Bridge Failure - Loss of Anchor Teeth
Ara Nazarian, DDS


Super Glue to the Rescue!! Strangely enough.... lots of people with failing bridgework send us questions about using super glue or krazy glue to do their own bridge repairs. This patient was bold and decided to use the glue product even on the anchor teeth....which is shown here to have oozed out and into the gum tissues surrounding the anchor teeth. Toxins, anyone?

Repair and replacement options would include extractions of all failed tooth structures, periodontal therapies to treat any and all tissues coming into contact with the glue product, choice of multiple dental implants, crowns, grafting surgeries, installation of a fixed or removable bridge, denture partials.

Super Glue Magic
Severe Bridge Failure and Super Glue
Ira Koeppel, DDS


How about Nail Polish Instead? We were surprised by this one.... maybe the patient figured that super glue had too many potential toxins to risk using. Clear finger nail polish works great on pretty nails but we suspect the "clear gloss seal" effects obtained here weren't exactly planned for.

Repair and replacement options would include extractions of all failed tooth structures, periodontal therapies to treat any and all tissues coming into contact with the glue product, choice of multiple dental implants, crowns, grafting surgeries, installation of a fixed or removable bridge, denture partials.

Finger nail glue
Nail Polish Repair
Richard Winter, DDS MAGD


Implant bridge failure. What started out as a failed implant on one end of this bridge.... developed into a complete failure in about 9 months. The loose implant gradually caused the bridge device to move about, change occlusal relationships with the upper jaw and end up creating damage across the entire bridge. A complete failure that could have been avoided.

Repair and replacement options would require treating the failed implant, possible renewed grafting and implant replacement, treating infected tissues, replacement with a choice of multiple implants and crowns, cemented bridge product, a replacement implant supported bridge or denture product.

Total Bridge Failure - Negligence
Implant Bridge Failure caused by Negligence
Ara Nazarian, DDS






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