Can You Remove a Dental Bridge? And 10 Other Bridge FAQs

Dental bridge FAQ

FAQs About Dental Bridges

Tooth loss in adults is more common than many people realize. But leaving a gap between teeth is unsightly and can cause other teeth to shift forward. If you are experiencing the effects of tooth loss, seeking a replacement option like a dental bridge, dentures, or dental implants is the next step. Dental bridges are a tried-and-true solution for patients with one or more missing teeth. And we have the answers to your frequently asked questions about bridges so you can see if one is right for you.

If you have a dental bridge or are thinking of getting one for your missing tooth, check out this FAQ so you can be in the know.

1. Can you remove a dental bridge?

Dental bridges are not designed to be removable. However, though a bridge can last seven years or more, there are times when your dentist may need to remove or replace it, such as if it becomes loose or damaged somehow. And while we can take out a bridge to treat tooth decay under a crown, there is a risk of damage to your bridge and adjacent teeth during the removal process.

2. Do dental bridges fall out?

As we mentioned above, a dental bridge can loosen over time. When this happens, your dentist can remove and recement it. But since your bridge is designed to last a lifetime, this situation is rare.

3. How soon after extraction can I get a bridge?

If your tooth has been missing for a while, you can get your new dental bridge within a few weeks. However, if you need an extraction, your mouth will need some time to heal before we can fit you for your bridge. In most cases, the wait time could be anywhere from six weeks to  six months, which is how long it takes for your gums to stabilize so the tissue doesn’t continue to shrink and leave a space under your new bridge.

4. What is the dental bridge process like?

Your dental bridge treatment will be relatively straightforward. Your dentist will examine your mouth to determine if you need any preliminary restorative treatment for tooth decay or gum disease. Then, they will take X-rays to evaluate  the adjacent teeth and surrounding bone.

Your dentist will file down the two teeth on either side of your gap and will take an impression of the space. In most cases, your dentist will place a temporary bridge to keep adjacent teeth from shifting and cover the prepared teeth while you wait for the lab to create your permanent bridge. Finally, about two to three weeks later, your dentist will remove the temporary and attach your permanent bridge to those teeth on either side of the gap. You can even get a bridge made over implants if needed (if you need a dental implant, this process will take longer).

5. How long does the procedure take?

Unless you need a dental implant, your dental bridge procedure will take about two to three weeks from start to finish. If you need a dental implant, the process can take several months.

6. What is recovery like after the procedure?

The great news about a dental bridge is that you will not require any downtime after we place your bridge. However, while you can return to work and your daily activities immediately, it may take a few weeks before your mouth feels completely normal again. Slight sensitivity and feeling like your bite is off for the first few days after treatment is normal. 

7. How long does a dental bridge last?

Most dental and prosthodontic experts agree that a bridge can last seven to 10 years. However, if you practice the best oral hygiene routine possible, your bridge may last as long as 15 years.

8. Will food get stuck underneath the bridge?

It’s rather common for food to get stuck underneath a dental bridge. To keep your dental bridge and the surrounding area clean, please be sure to do the following:

  • Brush your teeth twice daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush and your dentist’s recommended toothpaste.
  • Floss once daily before brushing with a water flosser (water flossers are a great way to push food particles out of tight areas).
  • Rinse your mouth with a fluoridated mouthwash.
  • Visit your dentist at Dental Care Associates of Buffalo once every six months for a professional cleaning and oral evaluation.

9. Is a dental bridge my best option?

Patients often ask us if a dental bridge is the best option. A dental bridge is one of many options for tooth replacement. While there are many benefits to a dental bridge, it is best to talk to your dentist about what is best for you. Many patients consider removable partial dentures or fixed dentures, and other patients consider individual implants via dental implant surgery. Though dental implants are the most time-consuming tooth replacement option, they are the most likely to look, feel, and function just like your natural teeth.

10. Do I need to avoid any foods with a dental bridge?

We recommend sticking to tooth-friendly foods whenever possible. But if you have a dental bridge, please remember that hard foods such as popcorn kernels and hard candies require excessive pressure to crush them. That pressure can potentially fracture your bridge’s porcelain

Dental Care Associates of Buffalo: Your Prosthodontic Experts Near Buffalo, MN

Whether you are considering a dental bridge or other tooth replacement option, Dental Care Associates of Buffalo can help. We’re not only the best family dentist in Buffalo, Minnesota, but also prosthodontic experts. So if you want an option to replace a missing tooth, there is no time like the present to request an appointment. We look forward to hearing from you.

DCA of Buffalo