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Reasons to Have Your Dental Bridge Replaced

Reasons to Have Your Dental Bridge Replaced

Dental bridges are a tooth restoration option that “bridges” the gap between teeth caused by a tooth lost to decay or disease or one that’s been extracted. This tried-and-true technique can give you back the smile you want and the ability to maintain good oral health.

At Riverdale Dental Arts, Dr. Sheldon Kupferman and his staff offer dental bridges as a tooth replacement option for their patients in the Bronx, New York. They’re long-lasting and more affordable than dental implants, but there are some instances when the bridge has to be replaced. Here, our expert explains the reasons that can lead to replacement.

What are bridges?

Bridges contain one or more artificial teeth called pontics attached to a metal framework. Each pontic sits in the space that your natural tooth occupied, and it’s cemented on either side to abutment teeth — natural teeth or dental crowns. Most pontics are made from porcelain so they can be shaded to match your surrounding teeth. Bridges come in four types:

1. Traditional bridge

This common type of dental bridge uses one or more pontics cemented to the abutment teeth on both sides.

2. Cantilever bridge

This bridge uses a pontic cemented to just one abutment tooth, which is an advantage for people who have lost a number of teeth.

3. Maryland bridge

This form also requires two abutment teeth, one on each side of the gap. However, instead of using dental crowns for support, it consists of a metal or porcelain framework bonded to the backs of the abutment teeth

4. Implant-supported bridge

This bridge type uses dental implants surgically screwed into the jaw bone, and they’re what hold the bridge in position. If you have several missing teeth and you can’t, or don’t want to, use a single implant for each missing tooth, Dr. Kupferman may use a pontic suspended between two implant-supported crowns.

Reasons to have your dental bridge replaced

By far the most common reason dental bridges fail is poor oral care. If you don’t brush, floss, and get professional cleanings, bacteria can enter under the bridge, producing decay in your natural (or abutment) teeth.

Other causes include changes to the supporting teeth, reducing the bridge’s stability; and habits like tooth grinding or chewing on hard, non-food items like pens and pencils. While bridges are a long-lasting tooth replacement option, they aren’t permanent; the average lifespan is 5-7 years, or longer if you take very good care of them.

Your natural teeth are covered by the bridge, which means you can’t easily see the signs of decay within the abutment teeth. As a result, caries can develop larger and faster, and they may cause sensitivity in the teeth or gums around the bridge. If you experience this, make an appointment to come into Riverdale Dental Arts for an evaluation. Dr. Kupferman may need to remove the bridge to address the cavities.

Another reason for bridge replacement is a crack in the tooth supporting the bridge. If you have chips or cracks, you may feel pain or sensitivity with chewing or brushing. Again, the doctor may have to remove and replace the bridge.

Other reasons for replacement are if the bridge doesn't fit well in your mouth, if the pontic’s color doesn't match your surrounding teeth, or if your dental bridge is loose. No matter how tempted you may be to try to tighten a loose bridge based on a YouTube how-to video, this is something best left to the professionals.

If you have a dental bridge and you’re not comfortable, it’s loose, or it’s cracked, it’s time to come into Riverdale Dental Arts to let Dr. Kupferman make the necessary repairs. To get started, call the office at 718-548-1148, or book an appointment online with us today.

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