Removable Dental Bridge: What to Expect

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A removable dental bridge is a partial denture that you take out to clean every day after your dentist adjusts it to fit your bite. It takes time for the mouth to get used to the feel of a removable bridge, and the dentist needs to check that the bridge fits correctly. When the patient's gums, tongue and natural teeth are accustomed to the bridge, he or she can practice a daily care regimen right away to keep it looking great and working well.

What's a Removable Bridge?

A removable bridge replaces teeth you've lost. The false tooth or teeth are supported by a metal framework that attaches to the natural teeth, or in some cases, crowns that are attached to the natural teeth are used to hold the bridge in place. Whichever type of bridge the dentist fits, the patient can remove and replace the bridge at home comfortably.

First Steps

The American Dental Association explains that a removable dental bridge can feel uncomfortable at first, but over time the mouth adjusts and the patient's eating and speech can improve. After fitting the bridge, the patient will be advised on how long he or she must wait before removing it. Often, the advice is to leave it in until the dentist can identify any problems. For example, the bridge might put too much pressure on one area of the gums and require adjustment.

After Adjustment

When the dentist has adjusted the bridge to provide a good fit, the patient can take it out at night for cleaning and replace it in the morning. It may take a little practice to get used to removing and replacing the bridge, but your dentist will most likely send you home with detailed instructions. One of the most important rules is to never bite down on the bridge to force it into place, because this can damage it.

Eating With a Removable Bridge

Soft foods that have been cut into small pieces are the best starter foods when first eating with a removable bridge. You should chew evenly on both sides of the mouth, and avoid eating hard or sticky foods and chewing gum.

Removable Bridge Care

Caring for a removable dental bridge involves cleaning away food debris and plaque from all parts of the bridge every day. Below are the steps on how to do so effectively:

  • Stand over a sink full of water or over a folded towel to avoid breaking the bridge if you drop it.
  • Brush the bridge with a soft-bristled toothbrush, like a Colgate® 360°® Enamel Health™ Sensitive Toothbrush, or a denture brush and cool water. You can also use denture cleaner, but don't use abrasive household cleaners or toothpaste, which may scratch the bridge's surface.
  • Rinse with cool, clean water. Hot water can warp a removable bridge.
  • Metal attachments on a removable bridge may rust if left in water or a denture soaking solution overnight, so only do this if your dentist advises you to.

A removable dental bridge restores missing teeth and allows patients to eat normally again. After the adjustment period, the patient can remove the bridge to clean it thoroughly and avoid the buildup of food debris and plaque. With good care, a removable bridge will be attractive and stain-free for years.

Don’t forget about your gums

Healthy gums are important for the success of bridges and crowns. Try one of our toothpastes created to help keep gums healthy.