A bridge is a fixed denture. This means that it is a denture that replaces one or more teeth and attaches to other teeth in a way that you do not remove it. Before implants came along, the bridge was often thought to be the best way to replace missing teeth. Now that the dental implant has proven to be a reliable way to replace teeth, the bridge is now often the second best option. There are many things to consider when deciding if a bridge or implant is better. Cost is always a factor but keep in mind that if everything was free, the implant would almost always be the way to go. If the teeth on either side of a missing tooth need crowns, then the bridge becomes a more attractive choice because the bridge takes care of the need for the crowns and for replacing the missing tooth. The problem is that if the bridge fails, then all the teeth are affected. If instead a crown was done on the teeth that need crowns and and implant was done to replace the missing tooth, then if something failed, only that tooth would be affected.
Something else to consider is if the bridge will be on the upper arch or lower arch. When we chew the lower jaw flexes and this flexing of the jaw over time can weaken the hold the bridge has on the teeth. So if the decision between doing a bridge or implant is close, which jaw it goes on can tip the balance in the decision process.
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