Skip to Content
chevron-left chevron-right chevron-up chevron-right chevron-left arrow-back star phone quote checkbox-checked search wrench info shield play connection mobile coin-dollar spoon-knife ticket pushpin location gift fire feed bubbles home heart calendar price-tag credit-card clock envelop facebook instagram twitter youtube pinterest yelp google reddit linkedin envelope bbb pinterest homeadvisor angies

London Bridge fell down a long time ago, but that doesn’t mean your dental bridge has to follow suit. A dental bridge is an appliance fixed within the mouth to replace one or more teeth in a row. While they can last for up to fifteen years, they eventually need repairs or replacement. Read on to learn about what can cause a dental bridge to fail and how to prevent that from happening and resolve it if it does occur.Orange Sweatshirt

What Causes a Dental Bridge to Fail?

The most common cause of dental bridge failure is a lack of good oral hygiene that includes a daily regimen of flossing once, using mouthwash, and brushing at least twice. Keeping up with that routine should prevent most problems. Without proper care, bacteria can colonize the bridge, giving them a window to infect your natural teeth. Since a bridge is fixed to the natural teeth on either side of it, decay in either one can result in failure.

Aside from poor oral hygiene, some other factors in bridge failure include:

  • Shifting of supporting teeth: Because the mouth is always developing and changing, the bridge can lose stability as the teeth anchoring it change positions.
  • Bad dental habits: Teeth grinding, nervous chewing, or using your teeth to open packages can damage the appliance and your natural teeth alike.
  • Failing to see the dentist enough: Regular dental examinations keep your bridge monitored so you can catch any signs of approaching failure.

How Can I Tell if It Is Time to Get My Bridge Fixed?

Getting your bridge repaired when necessary can prevent the appliance from failing. Because the teeth anchoring your dental bridge are covered by the appliance, it can be hard to see signs of decay in them. Staying aware of any sensitivity in the nearby teeth and gums can help you understand when your dental bridge needs repair.

If you notice any cracks or chips in your porcelain restorations or any pain or sensitivity during normal chewing and brushing, you should contact your dentist as soon as possible. You should also notify your dental care provider if the bridge is becoming loose or if the restorations are becoming discolored.

How Is a Dental Bridge Repaired?

When a dental bridge needs to be fixed, the necessary repair depends on what caused the problem. If the problem is with the anchoring teeth, the bridge will need to be removed. If these teeth are strong enough to support a bridge again after treatment, a new bridge will be made and cemented into place. In cases where these anchoring teeth cannot be saved, they can be replaced with implants. Chipped or fractured tooth restorations can often be repaired individually instead of replacing the whole appliance.

A dental bridge can be a great way to replace missing teeth, but it requires proper upkeep. By staying abreast of good oral hygiene at home and regular appointments at the dentist’s office, you can keep your restorations in working order for years.

About the Author

Dr. Mark Gray earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery in 1983 from the University of Texas Dental School in Houston. He is a Faculty Club member in the Spear Education Group, a member of the local chapter of the Seattle Study Club, and leads the local chapter of the CEREC Study Club. His Houston practice offers general, cosmetic, emergency, and restorative dentistry in addition to dental bridge services. For more information on keeping your dental bridge in good shape for the long haul, contact his office online or dial 281-493-9395.