If you're missing one or several teeth, you have several options for tooth replacement. You could opt for a partial denture, dental implants, or a permanent dental bridge. Each option has its own benefits and drawbacks, but dental bridges are often chosen for two important reasons—a permanent bridge is more convenient than a denture that must be removed daily, and they're also usually covered by insurance. Dental implants can cost as much as $4250 for a single tooth—even without insurance, a bridge is much more affordable, ranging from as low as $670 for an all-metal unit to as high as $1525 for an all-ceramic unit. If you're considering a dental bridge for its convenience and affordability, take a look at some of the potential complications to watch out for so that you'll know how to handle them if they arise.
One complication of dental bridges that most patients will experience is some level of tooth sensitivity. Your teeth may hurt when you eat or drink things that are cold or hot, or it may be moderately painful to brush them. Luckily, this is usually a temporary condition.
Having a dental bridge put into place is traumatic for your gum tissue and surrounding teeth, and your mouth needs time to adjust to the new device. As long as the sensitivity isn't unbearable and doesn't last for more than a few weeks following the procedure, you can safely wait it out. However, if the pain is too much to live with or persists past the recovery window that your dentist told you to expect, you need to return to the dentist for an x-ray. Your bridge may need to be adjusted, or you may have developed an infection.
Loose or Detached Bridge
There are several reasons why a bridge may become loose or detach entirely from its place in your mouth. This can happen if you experience trauma to your mouth, or just from biting down on something that's too hard for your bridge to handle. It can also happen gradually as the bridge ages—although it may be called a permanent bridge, a fixed bridge generally lasts anywhere from 5 to 15 years. As the bridge reaches the end of its lifespan, it may slip out of place.
A loose or detached bridge is a serious matter. This means that the cement that held the bridge in place has become weak, and bacteria can find its way underneath the cement. The bacteria will attack your gums and anchor teeth, causing infection and decay. Never try to glue the bridge back into place yourself. Only your dentist can determine whether or not your bridge can be reaffixed or whether it needs to be replaced completely.
Chipped Replacement Tooth
Another possible consequence of trauma to your mouth or biting into something very hard is chipping one of the replacement teeth on your bridge. This is primarily a cosmetic concern—chipping a false tooth shouldn't cause you any pain. There are a couple of ways to handle this, depending on how serious the chip is. If it's a small sliver, you may be able to fix the problem yourself with a ceramic repair kit. You can find these kits at drugstores. They contain composite resins in various shades as well as gel-like glues to hold the resin in place.
On the other hand, if a large portion of the tooth is broken, you'll have no choice to take it to the dentist. Your dentist may be able to repair it, but in many cases, the best answer to a serious chip or break on a bridge is to have the bridge replaced entirely.
Most complications associated with permanent bridges can be avoided with good dental hygiene, regular visits to the dentist, and caution when eating tough or hard foods. Don't hesitate to call your dentist's office to report any unusual pain or sensation after having a bridge put in place. Visit a site like http://rosecitydental.com/ to learn more.