Hello, I am a 51 year old man who is concerned about having a decent smile in my later years. I have a problem tooth that needs root canal & a crown or bridge afterwards, my dentist who is not a board certified cosmetic dentist is steering me towards extracting the tooth & then putting in a porcelain bridge. My concern is grinding down the outside teeth to put the bridge in. He tells me its the best case scenario because the 2 teeth on both sides of the false tooth have fillings in them & at some point will become a problem & the bridge will eliminate that down the road. I am not so much concerned about the cost as I am about the appearance & durability of the dental work, please advise!
– Ray in Pennsylvania
I recommend getting a second opinion.
If you have a concern about appearance, you need to choose your dentist very carefully. Very few dentists are artistic enough to make a beautiful and realistic dental bridge, if it shows when you smile.
But my main concern is the reasoning you seem to be presenting. If the tooth can be saved with a root canal and a crown, then I would save them. If the teeth on either side later need something additional, I would address that later when they actually need it.
When he puts in the dental bridge, that isn’t the end of the story with these teeth. A bridge doesn’t last forever. Now you’re committed to a bridge there forever. What if one of the teeth the bridge is attached to later breaks or gets infected or has some other problem. What then? You’ll need a longer bridge, or maybe a removable partial, or something else undesirable.
One of the reasons for the rising popularity of dental implants is the complications that a dental bridge brings into your mouth.
– Dr. Hall