While dental bridges should last for years, they can sometimes develop problems. At some point, you might need to have a bridge replaced. How can you tell if your bridge is in trouble?
The Bridge Is Damaged
Any signs of damage to a dental bridge are a concern. Don't assume that small spots of damage aren't significant because the teeth in the bridge are false. Remember that some of these false teeth sit over some of your natural teeth.
For example, chips and cracks in a bridge can cause dental problems. If one of these teeth isn't whole, then it doesn't fully protect its supporting natural tooth. If bacteria gets inside the false tooth, then it could cause problems with decay, infections or gum disease.
Plus, cracks and chips sometimes make a bridge break unexpectedly. You might have to spend some time without a bridge if it breaks off and you have to wait for a new one to be made.
If you act early, then your dentist might be able to fix the bridge without removing it. For example, they might be able to use bonding materials to repair minor spots of damage.
The Bridge Is Loose
Bridges are firmly attached to their supporting teeth. They shouldn't feel loose or wobbly.
If your bridge does feel loose, then it might have lost some of its support. Sometimes, older bridges come loose because the cement that holds them in place degrades.
Or, you might have a problem with one of your support teeth. If a supporting tooth isn't strong or healthy enough to take the weight of the bridge, then it can't hold it in place.
The Bridge Affects Your Bite
Once you get used to wearing a bridge, you shouldn't notice it. You'll be able to eat on it normally. If you've started to feel that your bite has changed in the area, then you could have a problem with the bridge.
For example, you might feel that your bite is too tight or uncomfortable if something is stuck under one of the bridge's teeth or if it has shifted position. Or, that part of your mouth might feel sensitive when you eat or drink if you have a problem with one of the support teeth under the bridge.
If you have any concerns about your bridge, schedule an appointment with your dentist. They can assess whether the bridge has a fixable problem or whether it needs to be removed and replaced.