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Understanding Some Dental Bridge Complications

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A missing tooth can be replaced in several different ways, including with the placement of a dental bridge. Dental bridges are far less invasive than dental implants, but they do have some complications associated with them. Keep reading to learn about a few, why they happen, and how you can avoid them.

Decay Underneath The Bridge

Traditional bridges are the most common bridge devices, and they require the presence of one healthy tooth on either side of the missing one. These teeth are treated as anchors for the bridge where crowns are attached. These crowns adhere to a full restorative tooth that sits in between them. 

The crowns must be constructed perfectly with the help of dental molds and CAD/CAM technology. While this helps the bridge to sit flush on the teeth, a slight margin or lip will often be present along the gumline. If the gums start to recede, then the margin will get bigger, and more and more of the natural tooth will be exposed.

The crown margins on either side of the bridge can collect food and plaque. If that is not cleaned away, then decay can develop. Decay will often start around the margin and will work its way underneath the crown. When this happens, the entire bridge may need to be removed and replaced. This can happen only once the decay has been treated.

You can avoid this sort of issue by reducing the amount of sugary food that you eat. This will help to keep plaque from developing as substantially. The result will be less bacterial activity in the mouth and fewer cavities in general. 

Also, you want to clean around dental bridges as thoroughly as possible. This means purchasing special tools that are made for cleaning around crowns and bridges. Tufted toothbrushes that can help you to get around the full circumference of the bridge and water flossers are two of the best tools. If you decide to use a water flosser, make sure to buy one with something called a plaque-cleaning or plaque-seeking tip. This will help to remove plaque and food, and this is especially helpful around the back edges of the device that are difficult to see.

Dental Sensitivities

The crown-attached teeth may be sensitive after the bridge is secured. The pain should subside fairly quickly, but for some people, soreness will pop up later on, even years down the road. There is a variety of reasons why the teeth may be sore. The crown may be positioned incorrectly. If it is too loose, the bridge will wiggle, placing pressure on the crown teeth.

If the bridge is too high, then the force from each bite may reverberate through the teeth. The dental roots will sense the increased amounts of pressure, and you will feel pain. 

In some cases, the dental pulp can become infected within one or both of the crown teeth. This sort of discomfort will resolve only if a root canal is performed.

Pain, soreness, and sensitivities can be addressed by your dentist based on the specific cause. However, it is much easier to prevent the sensations by making sure the bridge is secured correctly the first time around. 

You want to ask your dentist about whether or not the crown teeth require root canals before the fitting. Also, you want to pay close attention to the way the crown feels during the placement. If you think the crown is too high or too tight in relation to adjacent teeth, or if you simply think that the device does not fit right, then speak up during your fitting appointment.

You should also make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible if you notice that the bridge is loose or if gum recession starts to develop around the crown teeth.

If you want to know more about dental bridges and how you can go about avoiding complications with the devices, speak to your local dental professional.