Dental bridge problems are real. They can get complicated if not treated on time. They can affect your healthy teeth and the hygiene condition of your entire mouth. The result may be more missing teeth and bone loss.
This article discusses the eight most common dental bridge problems that can be prevented if not completely avoided.
We also discuss their root causes and what measures you can take to prevent them.
8 Most Common Dental Bridge Problems (according to medical experts)
1. Breakage is the most reported problem with traditional bridges
Dental bridges are made of durable material. But they can break for a variety of reasons, including:
- Improper oral hygiene
- Excessive application of force due to an accident
- Biting hard candies or other hard or crunchy food items
- Decay or fracture in the abutment teeth and false teeth. All-ceramic bridges can fracture. Actual fracturing of the fiber framework formed 25.0% of all failures.
- Teeth misalignment
What to do if your dental bridges are broken
- Remain calm
- See your dentist immediately
- Have your teeth examined to avoid further complications, for example, gum disease, tooth decay, dislodgement of the dental implants, etc.
- Repair or replace your bridge
- Take a temporary bridge while the new bridge is being fabricated
- Opt for a different treatment option
An ill-fitting bridge can cause plaque buildup in the healthy teeth under it. There is always a chance that natural teeth get overlooked when you have bridges resting on them. Your oral health cannot be confirmed without caring for your natural teeth and bridges.
2. Poorly-constructed dental bridges can be a great problem
Dental bridges require a high standard of workmanship from the dental laboratory technician. If your lab tech does not follow your dentist’s instructions properly, you may receive poorly-constructed bridges.
Those bridges may fall off your mouth.
But before your lab tach comes into the scene, you have your dentist taking the measurements. The dentist is responsible for preparing your teeth for bridges.
The preparation includes the following:
- Filing down two healthy teeth on either side of the missing teeth
- Taking a mold to make the bridge
If the dentist does not work diligently, a poorly-constructed bridge is not impossible.
3. Unwanted gaps between the trimmed teeth and the dental bridge
The dental bridges fabricated by the lab technician must fit your trimmed natural teeth.
If any gap between the bridge and the prepped tooth remains, bacteria and food particles may leak into it, causing tooth decay.
This can result in dental bridge failure, tooth loss, and bone loss. If the situation does not aggravate so much, you may still experience gum inflammation or toothache.
Your dentist must look into such important factors and ensure that your bridges properly fit your prepped crowns.
4. Bruxism can damage or dislodge your dental bridge
Causes of bruxism include the following:
- Caffeine intake
- Sleep disorders
- Hormone dysfunction
- Adrenal dysfunction
- Irritated bowel
- Neurological problems
Bruxism can be treated. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, the treatment will depend on your age, health and medical history, and how well your body responds to medicines and therapies.
Your bruxism treatment may involve the following:
- Educating yourself about how your mouth works. Understanding how to properly rest your tongue and teeth is a big part of that education.
- Using mouthguards to contain the bite force, so your opposing teeth do not hurt or damage each other.
- Having technical assistance in place to receive signals about your muscle activities. These signals, called biofeedback, will allow you to take a step back before bruxism can start.
- Taking antidepressant medicines if depression is the root cause of your bruxism.
5. Debonding: A dental bridge problem that can be fixed
Debonding is one of the most complained about disadvantages of dental bridges. According to research, debonding accounts for 92.6% of all reported problems for metal-based dental restorations.
Your fixed bridge may debond for many reasons.
- The silicone rubber of the bonding material absorbs water from your saliva, thus weakening it
- Decay under or around your dental bridge
- Bacterial infection in the abutment tooth
- Insufficient support from the abutment teeth
- Your dentist did not choose the right dental adhesive material or cement to secure the bridges
- Lack of professional dental examinations and care
Debonding may not always be avoided, but its rate can be decreased by doing the following:
- Your dentist must maximize the surface preparation of the abutment teeth
- You must practice excellent oral hygiene at home
- Missing an appointment with your dentist is not an option for you
- You have changed your lifestyle to accommodate your implant-supported bridge
6. Delamination or loss of translucency
Composite veneering material for dental bridges can lose translucency. This is called delamination.
Your abutment teeth at the front part of the mouth may turn grey with time. The metal substructure of the bridge may also be visible.
Delamination, which begins at the tooth’s border, has many reasons, including the following:
- Accumulation of micro-organisms (yeast and bacteria) due to improper oral hygiene
- Accumulation of food debris
- Bacteria from plaque attacking the bridges continuously
- Abutment teeth or bridge fracture
For a long time, porcelain-fused-to-metal bridges were the best dental bridges available due to their sturdiness. But you may now choose metal-free dental restorative alternatives for your treatment. They include:
- Fiber-reinforced composite resin materials
- All-ceramic materials
All-ceramic dental bridges maintain translucency for years, making them the best option against delamination.
7. Allergic responses to dental bridge material
According to research, metal and metal alloy dental bridges have the potential for allergic reactions. Contact stomatitis is not impossible. That means your mouth tissues may be allergic to the materials of your bridges. The allergy usually relates to:
- Residual monomer
- Additives (such as benzoyl peroxide)
The presence of ill-fitting bridges in the mouth and infection (candidiasis) may increase the chance of allergy.
The symptoms of such allergic reactions include the following:
- Burning sensation in the mouth
- Swollen gums (Oedema)
- The soft skin inside the mouth peeling off
You must examine your skin if you are allergic to your dental bridges. Once confirmed, your dentist will recommend an alternative treatment for you.
8. The number of bridges you need may complicate the treatment
If your teeth are irregularly missing, you may need several bridges. What I mean is your missing teeth are not all together. You have missing teeth and healthy teeth and missing teeth again.
Your dentist must be experienced enough to deal with the complexity of your treatment.
They must know how to use multiple teeth as crowns for the bridges and then instruct the dental lab to fabricate them for you.
The situation can be further complicated if and when one of those healthy teeth becomes unstable and unsuitable to work as a crown.
- Teeth can suffer trauma
- Teeth may be decayed
- The pressure of the bridge may aggravate the condition of the crown
In that case, you have two options:
- Get new bridges to suit the new condition of your mouth
- Remove the bridges, extract the unstable tooth and use an implant or treat it cosmetically with root canals
Consult your dentist immediately if that is the case with you. Your dentist will be able to come up with a treatment plan for you.
How to Avoid Dental Bridge Problems
You can protect your dental bridges from technical and mechanical complications by exercising the following:
- Educate yourself as much as possible about dental bridges, their components, and how they become a part of your overall health. This is the best way to make your beautiful smile last long.
- Know when your bridges are loose or fractured and require removal and replacement.
- Do not wear ill-fitted bridges. A loose bridge can compromise your dental health. Always keep an eye on your abutments or supporting teeth.
- Maintain a good oral hygiene routine. There is no alternative to this. Brush your teeth twice daily, and floss them regularly as your dentist recommends to keep harmful bacteria away. Use an antiseptic mouthwash.
- Keep your bridges clean. Use a denture brush.
- Eat soft foods. Avoid sticky foods. Eat nutritious food and raw vegetables.
- Follow your dentist’s post-op instructions. Taking proper care of your dental appliances will prevent many common bridge-related problems.
- Most importantly, visit your dentist for periodic checkups to avoid common problems. Do not miss your appointment with your dentist. Communicate any dental issues you notice to your dentist.
Dental bridge problems: a note from SupreDent
Your false teeth fill the space left behind by your missing natural teeth and become a part of your real life. You need to find a qualified dentist to do your dental work. But it is you who have to maintain your bridges from day to day.
Learn as much as you can about restorative dentistry, tooth replacement options, and what can damage your artificial teeth.
Understand that dental bridge problems are manageable. Communicate to your dentist any dental issues you may have.
Miettinen, M., Millar, B. A review of the success and failure characteristics of resin-bonded bridges. Br Dent J 215, E3 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.bdj.2013.686
Andrew Ruys, in Alumina Ceramics, 2019
Johns Hopkins Medicine. What is bruxism? Accessed on 23 December 2022.
Alharby A, Alzayer H, Almahlawi A, Alrashidi Y, Azhar S, Sheikho M, Alandijani A, Aljohani A, Obied M. Parafunctional Behaviors and Its Effect on Dental Bridges. J Clin Med Res. 2018 Feb;10(2):73-76.
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