Dental Bridge? Want to Replace Molars 31 and 30.

I have all of my above teeth and would like to know if a 4 united bridge anchored to numbers 29 and 32 a possible option. lastly have you ever heard of a dental bridge called a stress breaker which is designed by a lad in San Antonio Texas to eliminate breakage or stress on a dental bridge.

Doctor Answers 6


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I think my colleagues have answered your questions thoroughly.   Long term, you will likely be much happier with implants then a bridge.  Of course, every individual is unique with their own individual set of circumstances  - timing, appetite for a number of dental appointments, budget, and other preferences.    Bridges can generally be completed more quickly than implants, however they do have disadvantages (as mentioned below.)   If you don't mind a few extra appointments and waiting a few months (your dentist will provide you with something temporary to tidy you over while you wait), implants would be the way to go.   

If the cost of implants is prohibitive, you can discuss alternatives with your dentist - implant supported bridge or even a single implant on #30 to give you first molar occlusion may be appropriate to your circumstance and age. 

Bridge #29-#32

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That is too long for a posterior bridge. Occlusal stresses are progressively high there. An implant(s) are a more reliable treatment option.

Svetlana Novak, DMD
Natick Dentist

Dental Bridge? Dental Implants Are Better...

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Yes, a four tooth bridge will work but dental implants are usually a better option.  Don't bother with the stress breaker bridge - not necessary unless your bridge extended further forward.  The disadvantages of the bridge are: increased risk of fracture and decay of the existing teeth holding the bridge leading to early failure.  This is due to the increased stress the bridge places on these teeth and the inability to clean under the bridge adequately.  So a bridge lasts about 10 years before needing to be replaced...  Dental implants on the other hand, can be considered a life long restoration in most cases and if something happens to the teeth next to the implants (#29 and #32), then that individual tooth can be repaired without having to remove and replace an entire four tooth bridge.

Hank D. Michael, DMD | Sarasota Dentist

Hank D. Michael, DMD
Sarasota Dentist

Stress breaker for four unit bridge

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When teeth are missing you can replace them with implants, a partial or a fixed bridge. There are several indications for when a stress breaker is used.  The female portion is usually on the anterior abutment and the male end on the posterior portion. 


Stress breakers can be used when the anterior abutment has an inlay (very conservative tx) vs a full crown to prevent dislodgement, To correct for angulation with minimal tooth reduction or to allow more normal movement.  They are also used if there is concern about future problems with one abutment to allow for easier fixes in the future.  



Dental Bridge

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Assuming #32 is in good shape, as well as #29, there is no reason the bridge cannot be done. Consider also using #28 as added support due to the large span.

Murray Bruckel, DDS
Norwalk Dentist

Fixed bridge?

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If the abutment teeth are strong and healthy the 4 unit fixed bridge is a good option. The stress breaker is used when angulation is an issue to avoid stress on the abutments another option would be orthodontically upright teeth before the fixed bridge and you may not need the stress breaker good luck


Kevin Coughlin DMD, MBA, MAGD    CEO Baystate Dental PC

Kevin Coughlin, DMD
Springfield Dentist

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.