What Do I Need to Know If I Replace This Bridge?By Steve Ratcliff on November 26, 2013 | 2 comments
This bridge is 32 years old and pretty darn good if you ask me. It is by no means a failure. However, the time has come for it to be replaced; the patient doesn't like the way it looks and she would like a new one. She does not want implants because she doesn't want the required bone grafts needed to place an implant. She is congenitally missing her lower centrals.
She is willing to have soft tissue grafting procedures to create some attached tissue and gain some root coverage.
Now the question is, can I just replace the bridge? Notice how the opaque is showing through the incisal edges of all three of the PFM restorations. While that could be a restorative design issue, in this case it is wear. All six of her upper anterior teeth have Class 1 or 2 mobility and severe wear facets on the palatal surfaces.
These two findings are symptomatic of a restricted pathway or lack of overjet and perhaps a steep anterior guidance.
If I only replace the bridge and do nothing about the inadequate overjet, the problem remains. Inadequate overjet can be eliminated by:
- Orthodontic treatment to procline the upper anteriors or retrocline the lower anteriors
- Restorative treatment to reshape the teeth
- Opening vertical dimension of occlusion
Option 2 is a poor choice in this case. By creating more room on the palatal of the uppers or cutting the lower preps so the facial of the lower anteriors could be more retroclined the uppers will end up in dentin and the lowers will have compromised preps.
In this case, because of other restorative needs and the significant wear on the palatal of the uppers, we will open her bite. Opening the VDO effectively moves the facial of the lower anteriors in a posterior direction, making room for restorations and increased overjet.
December 19th, 2013
December 19th, 2013