Do Dental Bridges Fall Out?

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A dental bridge consists of two dental crowns attached to the teeth on either side of the gap, called abutment teeth, and false teeth, called pontic between them. They are designed to look like your natural teeth, and they remain in place with the help of crowns and cement. While they can last for many years, patients can suffer from dental bridge problems, causing them to fall out.

This blog post will briefly discuss why and provide tips for preventing loose dental bridges.

How Does a Dental Bridge Work?

As mentioned, dental bridges are prosthetic appliances placed between two healthy teeth on either side of the gap created by a missing tooth. The bridge consists of several parts: an artificial tooth called pontic and dental crowns placed over the teeth on either side of the gap. The pontic is usually made of porcelain or ceramic and attached to the crowns. Once the bridge is in place, it looks and functions like your natural teeth.

How Do Dental Bridges Stay in Place?

Before your dentist places your bridge, they will prepare your adjacent teeth by trimming them to make room for the crowns and to provide retention for the bridge. Once the bridge is in place, the crowns are held in place with dental cement. In cantilever bridges, where there is only a single crown, a metal clasp wraps around the adjacent tooth without a crown to provide a secure grip for the bridge.

Your dentist will ensure that the bridge is correctly fitted and secured in your mouth before you leave the office to avoid faulty dental bridges.

What Causes Dental Bridges to Loosen or Fall Out?

Although they can last for many years, loose dental bridges can occur from time to time and eventually fall out due to certain factors, such as:

  • Poor dental hygiene
    Poor oral health is one of the most common causes of loose dental bridges. Plaque buildup around the bridge can cause the cement between the crown and abutment tooth to weaken. This leads to the loosening of the bridge and ultimately falling out.
  • Tooth decay
    Decay around one or more of the abutment teeth can weaken their structure, making them unable to support the bridge.
  • Accidents or trauma
    An accident or a blow to your face can cause the bridge to loosen, break off, or fall out entirely.
  • Bruxism
    Bruxism or grinding and clenching of teeth can result in bridge failure. The excessive pressure and movement resulting from bruxism can break the bond between the tooth and the bridge, causing the bridge to loosen and eventually fall out.

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What Should I Do if My Dental Bridge Falls Out?

In case of a dental emergency such as this, your first step is to call your dentist immediately so they can instruct you on what to do. Meanwhile, you can try doing the following:

  • Find the bridge and keep it safe.
    Rinse it with warm water to remove debris and store it in a clean, dry container. Bring it with you to your appointment.
  • Do not try to re-insert the bridge.
    Regardless if it seems like you can easily put it in, do not attempt to put back the dental bridge. There is a high probability of it falling out again and a greater risk of the bridge getting swallowed.
  • Gently brush and floss the area.
    If you can’t see your dentist immediately, clean the area and brush your teeth as you usually would. This will help keep the surrounding teeth and gums clean while your bridge is out. However, be mindful not to apply too much pressure when brushing and flossing, as this can cause tooth sensitivity.
  • Rinse your mouth with warm salt water to clean the area.
    This helps reduce any inflammation or discomfort, as well as cleanse the area of any debris.
  • Take over-the-counter pain relievers if necessary.
    In most cases, you can feel discomfort and pain when the bridge is out. Taking over-the-counter pain relievers can help relieve these symptoms. 
  • Avoid chewing on the affected side of your mouth, especially hard or chewy foods.
    This will help prevent undue stress and further damage to the area. Remember that your abutment teeth have been trimmed, so they are weak and unprotected. Do not expose them to high forces to avoid fracturing your teeth. 

How Can I Prevent My Bridge From Falling Out?

Here are some helpful tips to avoid loose dental bridges:

  • Maintain good oral hygiene.
    Brush and floss your teeth regularly, as you would with your natural teeth, paying special attention to the area around the bridge.
  • Visit your dentist regularly.
    Regular dental appointments will allow your dentist to perform professional cleanings and checkups to avoid damage to your original teeth and bridges. This also helps them catch potential dental bridge problems and address them before they become serious.
  • Avoid hard or sticky foods.
    These can put extra pressure on the bridge and cause it to loosen or fall out over time.
  • Protect yourself from accidents or trauma.
    Wear a mouthguard when playing contact sports or participating in activities with potential risks of facial injuries. Talk to your dentist about getting a custom-made night guard if you have a habit of teeth grinding or clenching.

Final Thoughts

Dental bridges are an excellent way to replace missing teeth and restore your smile. However, like some tooth replacement options, you may experience dental bridge problems, such as them becoming loose or falling out due to natural wear and tear, tooth decay, or trauma.

If you are considering this treatment, call us to book an initial consultation. We can help you determine if this suits your particular needs and provide information on properly caring for your bridge to prevent it from falling out.

Byford Smiles is a modern dental office equipped with state-of-the-art technology to help us avoid faulty dental bridges and provide positive results. In addition, our clinic has a team of dental professionals with years of experience providing dental bridges. Our goal is to help you achieve a beautiful smile through our services, including dental bridges.

Frequently Asked Questions

Dental bridges have several advantages, including restoring your smile and teeth’s functions. When you have tooth gaps caused by tooth loss, eating and speaking can be difficult. Dental bridges help fill these gaps so you can smile more often and chew, bite, and speak properly. Also, having a missing tooth can make your face look sunken, but bridges can help fill out the appearance of your face. In addition, your other teeth can shift when you have a missing tooth.

There are no special measures for dental bridges, but you should take proper care to clean them. This includes brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing daily, and using an antibacterial mouthwash to avoid tooth decay. Use an interdental brush to clean the abutment teeth. You should also visit your dentist regularly to have professional checkups and cleanings. In addition, avoid hard and sticky foods and chewing on ice. If you can, avoid smoking or at least limit it as much as possible.

During your appointment, your dentist will first numb your gums using local anaesthesia. Next, they will prepare the adjacent healthy teeth by removing a portion of the enamel. This is necessary to make room for the dental crowns that will be placed on top of these teeth. Once the abutment teeth are prepared, your dentist will take an impression or dental scan of your mouth. This is used to create the dental bridge, which will be made from either porcelain or ceramic.

It usually takes two to three weeks for the dental bridge to be ready. In the meantime, your dentist may place a temporary dental bridge to protect your exposed teeth. Your next appointment will be the bridge placement. The temporary bridge will be removed, and your dentist will replace it with the custom-made bridge. Before you leave the clinic, your dentist will give certain instructions on caring for your new dental bridge to maintain its lifespan and avoid complications.

There are two alternatives to a dental bridge, dentures and dental implants. Dentures are recommended if you are missing all your teeth in a single arch and are looking for a more affordable prosthesis. Dental implants are a more expensive tooth replacement option but are more durable and look more natural. These consists of titanium posts surgically placed on your jawbone to act as artificial tooth roots. Once the implants have healed, artificial teeth are then attached to them. Dental implants are not recommended if you have weak or insufficient jaw bones, can’t commit to practising good dental hygiene, or are a smoker.

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