Having a dental bridge can make anyone believe that they never lost a tooth at all. It is a permanent tooth replacement solution that makes you feel like you have your natural teeth again. It usually lasts for a decade but may break or get loose at some point.
If your dental bridge is damaged, discover if you can still have it repaired or if you need to replace it altogether.
What causes a dental bridge to break?
Your natural teeth are the anchor of your permanent bridge. In most cases, bridge damage is due to problems with the abutment teeth or the teeth that support your bridge and your habits. Here are the specific reasons why most dental bridges break or get damaged:
- Poor oral hygiene: Pain or sensitivity around the bridge can indicate possible tooth decay or infection on the teeth supporting the bridge. Plaque buildup in the gum line can allow the bacteria to leak under the crown and damage your natural teeth.
- Teeth-damaging habits: Using your teeth to open a bottle, hold things, or bite your nails can chip or crack your crowns and bridge. If you notice the crumbled pieces of your bridge, visit your dentist as soon as possible.
- Changes to the teeth that support the bridge: The abutment teeth underneath the crowns are the pillars that stabilize your fixed bridge. A slight change in them can affect the pressure distribution of the bridge.
- Trauma or injury: Getting into an accident that injures your oral structure may also affect the alignment of your natural teeth and cause discomfort or damage to your bridge.
- Teeth grinding or bruxism: Excessive force placed on the bridge when you grind your teeth can chip the tip or the chewing surfaces of your bridge.
Is it possible to repair a dental bridge?
The possibility to repair your dental bridge depends on the cause of damage or failure. Repairs to your dental bridge are still possible if you experience any of the following:
- Minor chips on the surface of the bridge
- Fractured tooth replacement
- Loose bridge/recementing the crowns to the abutment teeth
The crowns are cemented to your two natural teeth to support the bridge. If those two natural teeth are causing problems, like tooth decay and infection, your dentist will need to break the dental crowns to treat them.
If your natural teeth that support the bridge can still be restored and support a bridge, you can get a bridge replacement.
How to take care of your dental bridge
Your dental bridge may not decay like your natural teeth, but it depends on the health of your two natural teeth under the crown. To preserve the pristine condition and extend the life of your bridge, you must practice the following bridge care tips:
- Practice good oral hygiene: Make it a habit to brush your teeth twice a day and floss once daily. Always brush the area near your gum line where plaque is most likely to form. Flossing is also crucial to remove plaque and food debris between your natural teeth and your bridge.
- Visit your dentist regularly: Once you get to have your dental bridge, part of your bridge maintenance is to let your dentist check it at least twice a year.
Oral exams allow your dentist to detect any problems with your dental bridge and prevent possible complications due to bridge failure. It would also be best for you to have professional teeth cleaning in every dental visit for better oral care prevention.
- Refrain from using your teeth as a tool: Most of the time, biting a pencil or using your teeth as a nail clipper is done out of habit. Usually, patients practice these habits when they are feeling anxious or stressed.
To gradually eliminate your teeth-damaging habit, observe what urges you to bite your pen or nails and try to find an alternative activity to keep you from doing it.
- Consult your dentist immediately if you notice any discomfort or sensitivity: Nothing good comes out of delaying your visit to the dentist when you are in pain. Your dental bridge issues can go out of proportion by the hour.
If you are experiencing any discomfort, swelling, or a dental emergency around your dental bridge, contact your dentist immediately for instructions. You can either save or lose a tooth with time, so don’t waste it on trying to self-medicate and ignoring your dental concerns.
Prolong the life of your dental bridge by visiting Genesis Family Dentistry
The dental bridge that helps fill the gap in your smile can last for 10 to 15 years if you take care of your oral health. Let our team of dental experts guide you in extending the life of your dental bridge. Genesis Family Dentistry offers dental bridge treatments in Uptown Charlotte. You may schedule an appointment now so we can check the status of your dental bridge.