After my routine hygiene and dental exam last week, my dentist said I needed a new upper left bridge. She said an anchor tooth in the bridge was cracked. I don’t have problems with the bridge, nor have I felt any discomfort. Should I deny a new bridge if I don’t have symptoms? Thank you. Portia
Your dentist’s diagnosis should accompany an X-ray showing your tooth is cracked. Generally, you would feel sharp pain when biting hard food if a tooth is cracked. Also, it is unusual for a crowned tooth to crack. A crown protects a weak tooth and prevents it from cracking.
We recommend getting a second opinion from an advanced cosmetic dentist without mentioning your dentist’s diagnosis. Ask for an exam and X-ray, but provide as little information as possible. Avoid telling the dentist that you or your dentist think your tooth beneath the bridge is cracked. You might ask if the dentist seeks anything questionable about your upper left teeth.
Your situation underscores the advantage of replacing a tooth with a dental implant. If anything goes wrong with a tooth that is a part of a dental bridge, a dentist usually replaces the entire bridge. However, a dental implant stands alone and is not affected if you need dental work on an adjacent tooth.
If your tooth beneath the bridge cracks, a dentist must remove the tooth and extend the bridge to cover the space left after the extraction. Consider getting a dental implant or an implant bridge as an alternative to traditional bridgework to replace missing teeth.
Dr. Steven Brooksher, a Baton Rouge accredited cosmetic dentist, sponsors this post.