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When You Need Dental Bridge Repair

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Medically Reviewed By Colgate Global Scientific Communications

Do you think your dental bridge might need repair? Dental bridges can last for decades, but eventually, they'll need to be repaired or replaced. Before we go further, what is a dental bridge? A dental bridge is a fixed appliance that fills the space in your mouth where one or more teeth are missing. Usually, a dental bridge is anchored to your healthy teeth on either side of the gap in your mouth. The purpose of a dental bridge is to restore your bite and help you keep your face's natural shape.

As you read on, we'll look into how dental bridges get damaged, when to get your dental bridge fixed, how a dental bridge is repaired, and care instructions to help you prevent dental bridge failure.

Causes of Dental Bridge Failure

The main reason that dental bridges fail is a lack of oral care. Without proper oral care, bacteria can enter under the bridge through the crowns, producing decay in your natural (or abutment) teeth.

Other causes include:

  • Changes to supporting teeth, which can reduce the stability of a dental bridge
  • Habits like chewing on a pen or grinding your teeth at night
  • Lack of regular dental care, which helps catch any potential problems with your bridge to avoid failure

When To Get Your Dental Bridge Fixed

Dental bridges are an effective treatment for missing teeth. However, it's important to remember that they aren't a permanent solution. Dental bridges usually last five to seven years (or even longer). But because your natural teeth are covered, signs of decay aren't visible. And so, sensitivity in the teeth or gums around a dental bridge could be a sign that your dental bridge needs repair.

You might also notice or feel a crack in your tooth, or pieces of the porcelain may come off. If you notice chips or cracks in your dental bridge or feel pain or sensitivity when chewing or brushing, you should see your dentist right away.

Sometimes the bridge doesn't fit well in your mouth, or the color doesn't match your surrounding teeth. If your dental bridge is loose, you should also see your dentist. Although there are plenty of resources online to guide you in tightening your dental bridge at home, it's essential to seek guidance from a professional for your health and safety.

Dental Bridge Repair

The treatment for a dental bridge repair depends on the cause of the failure. If the issue is with an abutment tooth, your dentist will need to remove the bridge. Fixed bridges are typically cemented to the abutment teeth, so this often requires breaking the original bridge. Once the supporting teeth have been treated (and if they're strong enough), a replacement bridge can be made.

If your dentist can't restore the abutment teeth, your teeth can be replaced with implants to support your dental bridge replacement. The abutment teeth and the missing teeth can also be replaced with implants, which are placed surgically into the jawbone.

If the porcelain coating on the bridge is chipped or fractured, but the bridge is okay, it may be possible for the dentist to repair the coating. Dentists can sometimes repair a fractured replacement tooth as well.

Caring for a New Bridge

Good oral care habits increase the longevity of a bridge. Twice-daily brushing prevents cavities, plaque, and the decay of the abutment teeth. In addition, dentists often recommend a special flossing tool that cleans the gap between the gum and the replacement tooth. So ask your dentist about it!

If you think that your bridge might need repair, now you know the scoop on bridge repairs. If you're having any sensitivity around your teeth or notice any chips or cracks, check-in with your dentist. It's also important to regularly see your dentist to ensure that your teeth under the bridge stay healthy. As always, remember to keep up with your oral care, especially with a dental bridge. If your bridge doesn't feel right, book an appointment at your dentist's right away. You deserve to live with a happy and confident smile.


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This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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