Dental bridges are an alternative to more invasive tooth restoration options, such as dental implants. A dental bridge can be affixed to your teeth without oral surgery. Bridges are attached using one or two dental crowns placed over healthy teeth adjacent to the missing teeth that are being replaced. The dental bridge procedure can be performed in one or two dental appointments.
After you go home, there are a few things you'll need to do to ensure the continued success of your new dental prosthesis. Dental bridges can last as long as fifteen years or more when they're properly cared for. Here are three things patients must do to care for their dental bridge:
1. Alert your dentist to any unusual feeling when you bite down.
When your dentist installs your dental bridge, they will take special care to ensure it fits properly. A well-designed dental bridge should meet your opposing teeth in a good bite that feels comfortable and natural. If you feel like your bite is uneven, call your dentist at once. They may need to adjust the surface of your dental bridge to solve the problem. A dental bridge that doesn't fit correctly is more likely to crack under the force of your bite, and it may even cause jaw pain if left untreated.
2. Avoid certain hard foods.
One of the draws of a dental bridge is the ability to eat your favorite foods without worrying about dislodging your dentures. However, you should still be cautious when eating certain items. Whenever possible, avoid chewing ice, bones, or popcorn kernels with your dental bridges. These hard foods can weaken your dental bridge, causing chips or cracks. Be cautious while eating to avoid damaging your new dental bridge. If you think you might have chipped your dental bridge, make an appointment with your dentist, like those at Henderson Family Dentistry and other offices.
3. Clean your dental bridge carefully.
Your dental bridge is made of porcelain that isn't subject to decay the same way your natural teeth are. However, dental bridges can still accumulate plaque over time. This plaque can cause gum disease if left unchecked. If food gets trapped beneath your dental bridge, it can create a foul odor or cause you to develop an infection. Clear away plaque and prevent unwanted smells by cleaning your dental bridge regularly. Brush your dental bridge with a toothbrush and toothpaste. You can clean the space beneath your dental bridge using an oral irrigation device.