Dental restoration in Charleston: Can a tooth bridge be replaced?
A tooth bridge is designed to last for many years. However, at some point, it may need to be repaired or replaced. Tooth bridges are fixed appliances that are fitted in the mouth when the patient has one or more missing teeth. The pontic tooth is usually anchored to crowns on the healthy teeth on both sides of the gap (these are known as abutments). You may require repair or replacement of a tooth bridge in Charleston if your original bridge has broken, or the dentist has found a problem at the time of your routine dental checkup.
Why a Tooth Bridge May Fail
Tooth bridges are typically made from porcelain material that is fused to a metal frame. Deficiency in oral hygiene could lead to failure of the tooth bridge. Harmful bacteria can deposit below the bridge through the dental crown and create decay in the surrounding healthy teeth. Another reason for tooth bridge failure could be a fracture in the abutment teeth.
Sometimes, a problem in the dental bridge itself could occur. The underlying metal may break or the pontic may be fractured. In a few cases, the bridge may not have any structural issues, but it may simply not fit properly in the mouth or its color may not match the adjacent healthy teeth.
When does a tooth bridge need repair or replacement?
Although a tooth bridge is a proven solution to replace missing teeth, it is not a permanent answer. As the abutments are covered, the signs of decay may not be visible. When the patient feels tooth or gum sensitivity around the bridge, it could indicate that there is a need for bridge repair or replacement. In some cases, a crack may be felt in the tooth, or the pieces of ceramic might come off. If cracks or chips are noticed in the bridge, or sensitivity or pain is felt during brushing or chewing food, it is important to see a dentist to review the condition of the bridge in Charleston.
Repair or replacement of a bridge
What caused the failure of the tooth bridge will often determine what type of repair or replacement may be required. If the abutment tooth has developed a problem, the dentist may have to remove and replace the bridge. If it is a fixed bridge, it may be cemented to the abutments, which could require breaking the tooth bridge. Once the abutments have been checked, and they are found to be healthy, a replacement tooth bridge may be made. If restoration of the abutment teeth is not possible, these may be replaced with dental implants that would support a new bridge.
How to prevent failure of a bridge?
As a tooth bridge is a permanent fixture, it means you cannot easily clean the area because the bridge cannot be removed. Therefore, plaque formation can begin in the area once harmful bacteria start developing. Plaque can become hard (tartar) unless it is removed daily. Tartar formation may also contribute to gingivitis and further cause periodontal disease if the cleaning of the tooth bridge by a dentist is not done twice a year (as per the American Dental Association recommendations.)
Dentists advise patients with tooth bridges to avoid chewing on hard foods, ice, and other hard materials. These hard substances can damage the bridge, which could require bridge replacement.
Tips to preserve your bridge
- Ensure that your tooth bridge is well-fitting before you leave the office.
- Avoid consuming hard or sticky foods as much as possible
- Focus on oral hygiene, brush twice daily, and floss once a day
- Choose a toothbrush that is designed to reach difficult areas
- Use an antiseptic mouthwash with the dentist’s advice
- Visit the dentist periodically to review the condition of your tooth bridge
- Receive professional dental cleanings as per the dentist’s recommendation in order to minimize the risk of tooth decay and gum disease
The life of your tooth bridge in Charleston can be prolonged if you are proactive about your oral health care, visit your dentist for checkups twice a year, and maintain good oral hygiene.
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