A dental bridge could be an effective solution if you’re missing a tooth or two. Essentially, a bridge is a false tooth that’s secured to or held in place by surrounding teeth. Most bridge procedures require only a day or two of work and the results can last for a whole decade. However, as with any other dental procedure, it isn’t without its issues and caveats.
Before I reveal the four most prevalent dental bridge problems, let’s talk about a few key factors.
About Dental Bridges
Depending on the type of bridge you’re going with (Maryland, traditional, or implant-supported), the dental bridge procedure can be more or less invasive. Furthermore, the bridge type will also determine how long the procedure takes, how much it costs, and the type of problems that can arise.
In short, we typically use Maryland bridges for front teeth gaps. They require the least amount of work, as the dentist only needs to remove a thin layer from the back of your abutment teeth before attaching the bridge. They are also the least expensive.
Traditional and cantilever are a bit more complicated procedures and they include the fitting of crowns on surrounding teeth. In other words, the dentist will need to file them down first before he can apply the crowns.
Finally, implant-supported bridges are by far the most invasive and they require surgery, as the implant needs to be lodged directly into your jawbone. Although the most permanent solution out of all four, implants are also the most dangerous, posing a risk for infection and many other side effects. Obviously, they are also the most expensive and take the longest.
To learn more details on dental bridges, consult this link. For now, we’ll be concentrating on dental bridge problems specifically, as implant complications call for a list of their own.
Problem #1 — Tooth Decay
As you may know, if you don’t maintain proper oral hygiene, your teeth will decay much faster. More importantly, bacteria will gather under the bridge or crowns, causing them to deteriorate quicker than they otherwise would. In case that happens, the bridge will simply come off and you’ll have a gap again.
Implant-supported bridges are better in this sense, as they allow you to brush and floss normally. However, today you can also buy special dental brushes that are small enough to fit between the gaps and enable you to properly clean your bridge and the area around it, so it’s not really an issue.
Problem #2 — Chipping or Breaking Off
A dental bridge can also start chipping, breaking off, cracking, or completely detach from the abutment teeth. There are many causes that could be responsible for that.
For one, if you put too much pressure on the bridge, rest assured that it won’t last long. Thus, you should be careful when eating and avoid biting into hard foods directly with the bridge tooth.
On the other hand, the bridge might not have been adequately fitted and attached in the first place. Finally, chipping can also happen spontaneously and unprecedentedly, even if the procedure went well and you’ve been cautious with your eating.
Problem #3 — Discomfort
In case your dental bridge wasn’t fitted, aligned, or attached properly, the consequences will most likely be noticeable. For starters, you’ll notice that the bridge feels unnatural, even annoying, causing you discomfort when you talk, smile, and chew.
However, depending on the type, it might also start warping or loosening over time. In turn, that will create holes between your bridge and teeth and potentially induce a lisp. If your bridge is bothering you, contact your dentist right away. Don’t wait for it to develop into a serious problem and cause disfiguration of your jaw and face.
Problem #4 — Aesthetic Problems
Obviously, if your bridge isn’t aligned with the rest of your teeth, that will affect the appearance of your smile, causing it to be asymmetrical and crooked. In some rare cases, the bridge might be a different color than that of your teeth, which will also look unappealing.
Still, you can easily avoid all that by going to a reputable orthodontist in Calgary with years of experience. You need to make sure you’re completely satisfied with the color and appearance of the bridge before the attachment procedure. Yet again, a good dentist won’t allow such inconveniences to happen in the first place, especially considering the hefty price tag of the procedure.
How You Can Prevent These Problems
As we mentioned earlier, you are an important factor in determining the lifespan of your dental bridge. Here’s what you need to do on a regular basis if you want your bridge to last as long as possible and get your money’s worth:
- Brushing and flossing. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, being careful not to damage the bridge. In addition, floss every day to get rid of any food debris and plaque.
- Cleaning around the bridge. Acquire a small brush specifically for the bridge.
- Mouthwash. Use antiseptic mouthwash to kill those pesky bacteria that accumulate in unreachable places.
- Dentist check-ups. Visit your dentist at least twice a year (or more often than that if you have dental issues) to ensure your teeth are in pristine condition. In addition, contact them immediately if you notice any dental problems, pain, or suspect having an oral disease of any kind.
Although not as durable as the implant, a dental bridge is a safe procedure and cheaper alternative. Be that as it may, that doesn’t mean that you definitely won’t experience any problems with it whatsoever.
It could be ill-fitting from the get-go or it might deteriorate with time and fall off — anything’s possible. However, with regular oral hygiene and some caution on your part, most of these dental bridge problems can be easily preventable and manageable. If you make the effort, you might be able to get as many as 15 years out of your bridge.