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A dental bridge is a restorative technique that allows the dentist to replace one or more missing teeth with a fixed prosthetic solution. A bridge is essentially a fixed partial denture which is securely and permanently attached to the neighbouring natural teeth. It is generally a preferred solution over a removable partial denture due to its overall better functionality but it does have some disadvantages when compared to an implant supported bridge.

First, in order to support and attach the bridge, the adjacent natural teeth have to be “prepared”. This entails the removal of some of the tooth’s surface which can, over time, create undue stress on the supporting teeth.

A second disadvantage is that the area below the bridge where the teeth are missing will gradually begin to suffer from bone resorbtion (attrition). This occurs because there is no root system in place to prevent the jaw bone from “receding”. Bone resorbtion can lead to jawbone fragility in later years.

Finally, it is possible for food and bacteria to collect beneath the bridge which can lead to problems such as gum disease and decay.

Although we invariably discuss with our patients the benefits of an implant supported bridge, we do realize that each patient’s circumstances can dictate a differing course of treatment.