Bridges are used in the mouth to replace a missing tooth between other two teeth.
Let’s think about this – so, you are missing one tooth.
Being a practitioner of Minimally Invasive Dentistry, it would NOT be logical to destroy the adjacent teeth on either side of a missing tooth to replace the missing tooth. Most likely, the adjacent teeth of a missing tooth are healthy and don’t require large fillings or even crowns. Now, if the adjacent teeth (become “abutments”) of a missing tooth are cut down (unnecessarily) for a bridge and this three unit bridge is placed, cleaning under the bridge is cumbersome. This is how many dentists would handle this situation.
Flossing under this bridge requires and additional tool (and dexterity) that threads the floss under the bridge to clean leftover food and debris from the margins of these adjacent teeth. If you are a diligent daily flosser, congratulations! My hat is off to you and thank you for taking such good care of yourself. Most people don’t floss, and if they do, it is not regularly or often. So, you lost one tooth and now you have a bridge and you still don’t floss. The adjacent teeth that were otherwise healthy are now food traps next to the missing tooth, and this build-up of food particles and debris decay over time. I have experienced patients who have had to have their bridges replaced in less than ten years after having the initial bridge placed. These abutment teeth (the tooth on either side of the initial missing tooth) decay again, and now, not only do you have a missing tooth, you now have the potential to lose the abutment teeth, too. Now, you are missing 3 teeth!
As a Minimally Invasive Dentist, I recommend to replace the missing tooth with an Implant. If you really want a traditional bridge, please read above and reconsider. Yes, implants are an investment, but having a bridge made twice over your lifetime is about the cost of an implant. Also, with an implant you don’t destroy healthy teeth. Implants don’t decay and you don’t need fancy gadgets and flexibility to clean around them.