U.S. doctors online nowAsk doctors free
Plano, TX
A 54-year-old male asked:

Had a dental bridge on 11-14. can i only crown # 11 & 14. then leave teeth 12 & 13 empty until i am ready for implant. would this cause any problems.

14 doctor answers23 doctors weighed in
Dr. Theodore Davantzis
Dentistry 41 years experience
Teeth may shift: Both maxillary and mandibular teeth may shift, compromising their support, changing your bite, and altering your appearance. If they shift, it may be harder to place the implants. Do you have enough bone for implants? If not, then new bridge is your choice.
Dr. Gary Sandler
Dentistry 55 years experience
Time frame?: It depends upon when you plan on having the implants done. A few months probably won't matter, longer probably will. You might want to consider a temporary removable replacement to hold everything in place. You need to also make sure that you can have implants in #12&13. If not, the cost of the crowns for #11&14 might be thrown away. It's crucial to discuss these issues with your own dentist!
Dr. James Vito
Prosthodontics 38 years experience
Yes: This is called staging. This is done when time, economics or the dental situation prevents you from doing everything at once. All things being equal it is better to do it all at once so that the final restorations are made at the same time for ideal color and fit.
Dr. Arman Roksar
Dentistry - Prosthodontics 26 years experience
Yes not a good idea: It is not a good idea to leave the space empty for tooth #12 & 13. Since tooth number 14 will shift forward over time.
Dr. Ed Martinez
26 years experience
Teeth may shift: Teeth may shift if there is a gap between teeth. However if you have all lower teeth chewing on both # 11 and 14, bite alone will stabilize movement of teeth. If lower teeth are missing then the likelihood of tooth shifting is hi.
Dr. Roya Arbab
33 years experience
Yes.: It is possible to only crown #11 and 14 without replacing 12 and 13, as long as you understand the possible consequences. First, there is the possibility of extrusion of the opposing dentition, your lower teeth. You can avoid that by wearing a night guard. Then the esthetics come into play, when you smile you will see the empty space on your upper left.
Dr. Robert Tupac
Specializes in Prosthodontics
Yes: Implants are the preferred replacement for !2 and 13, leaving 11 and 14 to function as single teeth. However, the implants need to be done when there is sufficient bone. Waiting too long may leave you without enough bone for implants.
Dr. Yatin Khanna
Prosthodontics 20 years experience
Teeth can shift : Teeth can shift leading to a compromise in implant placement.
Dr. Debra Haselton
28 years experience
OK with limitations: Leaving the space empty would allow the adjacent teeth to possibly shift. An orthodontic retainer should be worn daily to help prevent that. The space will continue to lose bone so it would likely require some bone grafting when you are ready.
Dr. Louis Sterling
Prosthodontics 38 years experience
Yes, but why?: The only reason to do this is you insist on having individual crowns (for hygiene reasons?). Why undergo the additional treatment (surgical placement) and cost (paying for surgery and implant abutments) if 11 & 14 are already prepared for their crowns?
Dr. Dinh Bui
Dr. Dinh Buianswered
Dentistry 24 years experience
Good idea: Implant is the best treatment for the following scenarios. Firstly, your 11 and 14 abutment teeth are nonparallel, i.e. Poor force distribution into the abutment teeth during function. Secondly, teeth 11 and 14 are not healthy periodontally, i.e. Bone or attachment loss, poor crown to root ratio. Thirdly, your occlusion in the area 11-14 is inoptimal. Fourthly, oral hygiene is compromised.
Dr. James Courey
Specializes in Prosthodontics
Great question!: Definitely crown 11 and 14! good for you for making this wise move. Bridges are no longer considered an optimal tx option. I do not recommend waiting for dental implants in the space. Doing so causes "disuse atrophy" or bone loss, which may pose challenges to having implants placed later. If finances are a concern, ask about payment plan options or services like carecredit to help you.
Dr. Joseph Greenberg
Specializes in Prosthodontics
It might.: Opposing teeth can erupt (grow up) into the space and adjacent teeth (#14) may lean forward into the space as well. Why do you want to do this? Fixed bridges are as reliable as dental implants at 10 years. That's the science!
Dr. Maryam Chiani
Dentistry 30 years experience
You may : You need to get a thorough evaluation to see if you are a good candidate for dental implants. Sometimes there is a need for additional procedures like bone graft or sinus lift . Then, you can make an informed decision to whether choose implants or bridgework.
Last updated Apr 12, 2020


Content on HealthTap (including answers) should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and interactions on HealthTap do not create a doctor-patient relationship. Never disregard or delay professional medical advice in person because of anything on HealthTap. Call your doctor or 911 if you think you may have a medical emergency.