CONVENTIONAL RESTORATIVE OPTION
For patients with one or more teeth missing, a conventional restorative option is the dental bridge. Dental bridge is a fixed partial denture that attaches one or more prosthetic teeth to the adjacent natural teeth. It is generally preferred over a removable partial denture because it provides far better support and stability. It does have, however, certain disadvantages that should be mentioned. First, this treatment solution involves the manipulation of healthy adjacent teeth. These teeth have to be “prepared” (reduced in size) to support and retain the bridge. Second, without the presence of the natural root system, the area where teeth are missing will likely experience gradual bone resorbtion (shrinking of the jaw). Finally, food particles and bacteria can sometimes collect underneath the bridge, creating problems such as gum disease. Vigorous oral hygiene is therefore extremely important.