You are here:

Prosthodontics/replacement for missing teeth



For years I was terrified of going to the dentist which resulted in major problems for my teeth.

I finally started going some years ago and opted for 2 4 unit permanent bridges in the upper left and upper right.

Last night the bridge on the upper right came out, I have had it for 6 years.

I went to my dentist and they determined that decay on the posterior abutment broke the seal and the cement weakened.

They keep pushing for implants on that side but it would be very costly as I would need a bone graft, sinus lift and 2 crowns for the abutments.  

I would prefer another bridge since it costs a lot less.  I am 54 years old and really don't want to spend $12,000 or more on 4 teeth.

Is there anyway to treat the decay and reuse the bridge?

Are implants a wiser choice?

thank you

Depending on the extend of the decay and if it was all the way to the nerve, the tooth could be treated with root canal treatment and a post to rebuild the lost tooth structure before a new bridge could be done.
If the posterior tooth is unrestorable then obviously a new bridge is not an option.
Generally speaking, implants are good options since that would allow you to floss between your teeth, but, if you are going to have crowns on the abutment teeth anyway and the two abutment teeth are restorable then a bridge should be a viable option. This ofcourse with the understanding that the new bridge have a shorter life expectancy than the first one specially if one or both abutments have root canal treatment(s).

I hope this answers your question.

Dr. Elsafi


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Mohamed Elsafi, DDS, MS, FACP


I am a board-certified Maxillofacial Prosthodontist. I do head and neck prosthetic reconstruction for patients with congenital and acquired defects. This also includes trauma and cancer patients. I can answer questions about prosthetic rehabilitation of the head and neck area. I am also a board-certified prosthodontist and can answer questions about dental reconstruction including crowns, bridges, veneers, partial and complete dentures and implant restorations. I can also answer questions about TMJ problems. I can not answer about surgical reconstruction.


I am a board-certified prosthodontist and maxillofacial prosthodontist and have been practicing denitstry for over 15 years.

American Academy of Maxillofacial Prosthetics. American College of Prosthodontists. American Dental Association.

I received my dental degree from University of Southern California. I did my prosthodontics residency at University of Florida and my maxillofacial prosthetics fellowship at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

Awards and Honors
Chief Fellow at MD Anderson Cancer Center.

©2017 All rights reserved.