Can a 4 tooth bridge be attached at one end to an implant and the other end to an original tooth? I've been told that this is not possible because the original tooth can move but the implant doesn't. Is this true? I need to replace my 4 tooth bridge and I am hoping it can be reused to attach to the original tooth and the other end to a new implant that will replace a decayed tooth to which the bridge had been attached.
Can a 4 Tooth Bridge Be Attached at One End to an Implant and the Other End to an Original Tooth?
Doctor Answers (5)
Implants and natural teeth should not be connected by using a bridge
The way that an implant attaches to the bone and the way that a natural tooth ( root) attaches to the bone is different. This means that biting forces will affect both scenarios differently. If they are attached together through the use of a dental bridge, you can compromise the health of the implant or natural tooth or both.
The short answer to your case is no, your bridge cannot be attached to a new implant
The general consensus and standard of care today is that a fixed bridge should not be attached at one end to a natural tooth and the other to an implant. There is a long explanation but basically you said it correctly.
The problem we have seen is that the bridge will come loose from the tooth but will stay connected to the implant. This can cause a cavity on the tooth because there will be no cement seal. Also, it will create a cantelever effect on the implant which will cause a lot of force and could break something or cause you to loose the implant. There are some creative things that can be done if there are no other options. You can incorporate a stress breaker connection to account for the movement of the natural tooth.
The other option is to place one more implant and make a 3 unit bridge on the two implants and then a single crown on your natural tooth. This would be the best long term option.
Either way, your old bridge cannot be used.
New bridge or old?, connect to implant and natural?
The good news is that with all the new materials and special connectors we have now days it might be possible to connect an imlant to a natural tooth, but it has to be done correctly. The bad news is that you will definitely not be able to use your old bridge because a special stress breaker would have to be attatched to connect to the implant to acommadate the differents stresses of natural tooth versus implant. Talk to a good dentist that does lots of crown and bridge and implants and have him look at your specific situation.
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Attaching a Bridge to an Implant and to a Natural Tooth
It is NOT ideal to attach 1 end of a bridge to an implant and the other end to a natural tooth for the reason you stated: the bridge will loosen on the natural tooth because that tooth is on an elastic membrane and the implant is not. Your particular case cannot be answered without examining your situation and seeing your X-rays. Usually not a good idea to add additional teeth to a pre-existing old bridge.
Bridges should attach to two implants or two teeth, not a combination
CAN and SHOULD are the important words here. CAN it be done? Yes. Should it? NO.
Another very important factor here is that the original bridge will be destroyed in the process, so there is no option to reuse the bridge.
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.
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