Lakewood Dental Answers to A Dozen Questions About Dental Bridges

Dental bridges are prosthetic appliances that replace one, two, three, or four teeth in a row. It’s created much like an architectural bridge, with a suspension support. The replacement teeth in a bridge are all connected. A dental crown is fabricated on either side of the replacement teeth. These crowns permanently anchor the bridge to […]

Dental bridges are prosthetic appliances that replace one, two, three, or four teeth in a row. It’s created much like an architectural bridge, with a suspension support. The replacement teeth in a bridge are all connected. A dental crown is fabricated on either side of the replacement teeth. These crowns permanently anchor the bridge to teeth on either side of the space. Bridges are non-removable, also known as fixed, appliances.

Patients in the Dallas area can call Lakewood Dental Group at 214-827-1885 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Shaun Sigurdson or Dr. Mahir Patel. The doctors will answer all of your questions, address your concerns, and advise you on whether a dental bridge or other prosthetic is better suited to deliver the results you want.

If you’ve lost teeth, damaged your bridge, or need an old dental bridge replaced, the answers to these FAQs will help you more thoroughly understand dental bridges. We’ll answer these questions:

  1. What other names do dental bridges go by?
  2. How is a bridge different from a partial denture?
  3. What age do patients get bridges?
  4. After getting my dental bridge, how long until I can eat?
  5. How long do dental bridges last?
  6. Can teeth rot under a dental bridge?
  7. Can a bridge cause gum recession?
  8. What problems are associated with dental bridges?
  9. Is wearing a dental bridge uncomfortable?
  10. What causes a dental bridge to break?
  11. When should I call the dentist about my dental bridge?
  12. What are the benefits of implant-retained bridges?

What other names do dental bridges go by?

Today, we commonly see the term “dental bridge,” but this prosthetic has also been called “crown and bridge” or “tooth bridge.” There are four primary types of bridges, but each describes the basic appliance. The difference is in how the bridge anchors in the mouth. 

  • Traditional dental bridge – attaches to two crowns
  • Cantilever dental bridge – attaches to just one crown
  • Maryland dental bridge – attaches to the back surface of neighboring teeth by “wings”
  • Implant-supported bridge – attaches to one or more dental implants in the jaw

How is a bridge different from a partial denture?

Generally, partial dentures are removable, not fixed. Partials attach with clasps, rather than crowns or wings. Partials can also snap onto dental implants. 

What age do patients get bridges?

Children and adults can have bridges. Note that a child will need the appliance replaced as he grows, and in some situations, a prosthetist or pediatric dentist should be consulted. There is no upper age for dental bridges.  

After getting my bridge, how long before I can eat?

We recommend patients not chew hard foods for the first 24 hours after having a bridge placed. A liquid or soft diet can be consumed. For soft foods, chew on the side of the mouth that was not treated for the first 24 hours. After 24 hours, the cement should be cured and you can eat a normal diet.

How long do dental bridges last?

Dental bridges typically need to be replaced every five to seven years. 

Can teeth rot under dental bridges?

Yes! In fact, insufficient cleaning under a dental bridge can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Plaque, food debris, and bacteria can become trapped under a dental bridge that’s not cleaned properly. The crowned teeth on either side of the bridge can develop cavities under their crowns. As a result, the patient will need a new bridge after treating the decay. A root canal or even extraction may be required, depending on the extent of tooth decay. We will check for decay at your dental checkups, but if you notice pain, contact us for an exam.

If gums beneath a dental bridge present with pain, swelling, or odor, contact us for a gum disease evaluation. 

Bridges should be cleaned two or three times every single day. Patients should brush and floss normally, then use a plaque seeker or floss to remove debris beneath a bridge. An interdental flosser and/or water flosser can prove highly effective.

This video shows you how to use an interdental flosser to clean your dental bridge:

https://youtu.be/lJISzIoq_A4?si=j0OIY2_9hjl_Pjhy

Can a bridge cause gum recession?

If a dental bridge does not fit properly, gum recession and infection can develop around the bridge. Our dentists use a reputable dental lab for the precise fabrication of dental bridges. If you notice pain or recession in your gums, call our Dallas dentist office for an evaluation.

What problems are associated with bridges?

Patients who experience any of these issues should schedule an appointment for Dr. Sigurston or Patel to examine your bridge.

  • Poor or uncomfortable fit
  • Increasing dental sensitivity 
  • Pain in crowned teeth
  • Pain, swelling, odor on gums under bridge
  • Crack or cavity in anchoring teeth
  • Damaged bridge

Is wearing a dental bridge uncomfortable?

Your dental restorations and prosthetics should feel comfortable after the initial adjustment period, about two weeks. If your dental bridge continues to create discomfort after a few weeks, schedule a time to see the dentist so that he can evaluate the fit and correct any issues.

What causes a bridge to break?

If your dentist doesn’t use a reputable dental lab, your bridge may be poorly designed, constructed of cheap materials, and basically not built to last. At Lakewood Dental Group, we partner with a few dental labs that consistently produce top-quality restorations and prosthetics for our patients. 

A solidly-made dental bridge may break from:

  • Chewing on hard foods
  • Chewing on fingernails and items (pencils, pen caps, etc.)
  • Chewing ice
  • Bruxism (habitually clenching and grinding teeth, usually at night)
  • Poor care and maintenance

When should I call the dentist about my dental bridge?

In addition to attending six-month checkups and cleanings, patients who experience any of these symptoms should contact us immediately to schedule an examination:

  • Dental bridge feels loose or wobbly
  • Bridge appears broken
  • Bridge comes out of your mouth
  • Pain, swelling, or foul odor in or around your bridge

What are the benefits of implant-retained dental bridges?

When anchored to dental implants, a dental bridge is solidly attached. The implants stimulate the jawbone to promote bone retention and health. This reduces your overall risk of jawbone recession, which makes a person look older. 

Implant-retained dentures do not require attachment or support of any kind from teeth on either side of the bridge. This means those healthy teeth won’t have to be shaved down in preparation for crown placement.

 In patients with good oral health and in the absence of injury, 

  • An implant-retained bridge can last 10 years or longer
  • Dental implants can last a lifetime

Schedule Your Appointment with a Lakewood Dallas Dentist

If you have additional questions or need an experienced general, restorative, cosmetic, and family dentist, give Lakewood Dental Group a call at 214-827-1885. Our Dallas dentists, Drs. Sigurdson and Patel, are accepting new patients. They have a superb reputation, and we encourage you to read our Google Reviews. Patients interested in dental bridges, restorations, or other prosthetics should know that our dental lab has an excellent reputation, as well. 

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Do you live in the East Dallas area and need a dentist? Don’t wait, schedule your appointment with our friendly dental team today and keep your smile healthy and bright.