If you have a dental bridge, this might be the absolute worst-case scenario that you can imagine – your bridge falls out while enjoying a special meal or even just casually chatting at home. At Forest Heights Dental, we hope that never happens to you. Having said that, though, we know it does from time to time and we want you to be prepared.
Here’s our first piece of advice – something that’s probably easier to give than to follow. If your bridge does fall out, don’t panic. It’s not ideal, but it happens. It’s also a problem that can be solved. The first and best thing that you can do is to carefully rinse off your bridge and put it into a Ziploc bag until you can see a dentist in Forest Lawn.
What will happen next?
Speaking of dentists, give a dentist near you a call and let them know what happened. It’s not an emergency – unless you’ve also sustained an injury – but call as soon as is convenient for you. Your dentist will schedule an appointment to examine your bridge, the adjacent teeth on either side of your missing teeth, and determine whether and how your bridge can be repaired. Often, a bridge can be repaired and put back into place – sometimes after some work is done to correct any cavities or damage to your abutment teeth.
If your bridge can not be replaced, your dentist will talk to you about getting new dental bridges in SE Calgary. If for some reason your abutment teeth can no longer support the same type of bridge, your dentist will explain all your options for obtaining new dental bridges near you – maybe even some options that didn’t exist when you got your original bridge.
What causes bridges to fall out?
A dental bridge can be dislodged or knocked out in a traumatic incident such as an assault, slip and fall, motor vehicle accident or athletic collision. Even the prolonged stress exerted by clenching and grinding your teeth as you sleep – a condition called sleep bruxism – can dislodge a dental bridge and otherwise harm dental work generally. Aside from those sudden or gradual trauma-related causes of a bridge falling out, there are three common causes.
Dental bridges replace missing teeth, but they don’t prevent the development of tooth decay and gum disease affecting your natural teeth and adjacent gums. Because bacteria, acids, sugars and bits of food tend to accumulate at the margin between your bridge and your gums, it’s essential that you clean all your dental work, teeth and gums several times daily. That will keep your mouth healthy, generally, and preserve the support on which your bridge depends.
If the abutment teeth (the teeth on either side of your missing teeth that hold the crowns that support your bridge) are too short or weak – or become damaged over time due to a cavity or injury – they may be unable to hold your bridge in place. Your bridge might fall out not because there’s anything wrong with the bridge, but because of that problem with the abutment teeth. Think of it as a perfect boat that floats off because its anchor came loose. Your dentist will examine those abutment teeth, determine what is necessary to treat any underlying issues, and advise you about whether they can still act as anchors for your boat… er, crowns and bridge.
If you have an irregular or changing bite pattern due to a misaligned jaw, injury, sleep bruxism or even TMJ conditions, the way that your upper and lower teeth meet when you bite, chew, speak and smile may be imposing new, different or greater forces on your bridge and other teeth. In some cases, those new, different or greater forces can damage or even dislodge a bridge. Your dentist can diagnose changes to your bite by examining your teeth and jaw and taking x-rays. The way your teeth meet can often be adjusted simply by reshaping your teeth in tiny ways. In other cases, orthodontic or other treatments may be necessary to protect your health and your bridge.
If you’re concerned about the state of your dental bridge, get in touch with a dentist in Forest Lawn right away. You don’t need to wait until it falls out to get the support and answers you need.