What Makes A Dental Bridge Fall Out?

A good quality dental restoration follows the set and forget model. Your dentist sets the restoration into place, it looks and functions like a natural tooth rebuild or replacement, and then it's perfectly natural to forget it's even there. This is the case with dental bridges. There's some debate as to how long a dental bridge will last, and a lot of it depends on a patient's personal circumstances, but the consensus is (with proper care), you can expect your bridge to last around ten years (if not longer). So why do some bridges fall out before their time?

Too Much Suction

As natural as a dental bridge looks and feels, it can't quite withstand the same pressure as a natural tooth. Don't become overconfident with your bridge, since there are a number of foods that aren't compatible with it. Anything too chewy or sticky can apply too much suction to the bridge, destabilizing its connection, and wrenching it out of place. Your dentist can provide you with a list of foods to avoid (or only consume in moderation) with your dental bridge if they haven't already.

Unstable Abutments

Maybe you've already been careful with your diet, being sure to avoid anything that might tug your dental bridge away from its abutment teeth — the teeth on either side of the gap now filled by your bridge. So maybe the problem is in fact with these abutment teeth. A dental bridge can be bonded directly onto dental enamel, but only if the enamel is strong and unblemished. Enamel doesn't necessarily stay that way forever. Should there be any decay to the enamel of these abutment teeth, the dental bridge reliant on them to stay in place can loosen and detach. Abutment teeth are also commonly reinforced with dental crowns, and as such, a loose dental bridge can be due to one of these dental crowns losing its bond to the underlying tooth. 

Bridge Repairs

Your dentist will determine the reason why your dental bridge has loosened or fallen out. However, the most important thing is to have the issue investigated as soon as possible. A loose or damaged dental bridge won't do you any favors, and a detached dental bridge is a huge inconvenience. See your dentist immediately. The bridge will need to be re-secured, but additional procedures may be needed to allow this. For example, a decayed abutment tooth will need to have a crown added to it. A loose crown will need to be re-bonded to the underlying tooth. Or your dentist may need to remind you about which foods to avoid with your dental bridge. If the bridge is undamaged, it can simply be put back into position. Some cases may require a new bridge to be made.

For more information about dental bridges, contact your local dentist.