Dental Bridges: How to Maintain and Care for Your New Prosthetic
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With proper care, a new dental bridge can last 15 years or longer. At Dr. Michael Bixby’s practice in Monmouth County, we discuss dental bridge recovery and aftercare so patients know how to care for their new prosthetic.
Most patients experience few, if any, side effects. Once your new dental bridge has been placed, you can enjoy restored chewing and speech function.
What to Expect in the Days and Weeks after Bridge Placement
One benefit of using a dental bridge to replace missing teeth is that patients are able to return to work shortly after either step of the treatment process.
Preparation for Crown and Bridge Placement
The first step involves prepping two neighboring teeth so they can receive crowns. During the prepping process, Dr. Bixby removes a small layer of enamel so the crowns can rest snuggly over the teeth. This can lead to a short adjustment period where patients may be more sensitive to hot and cold temperatures.
Temporary crowns will be placed over these treated teeth while your custom bridge is manufactured. During this time, take care to avoid sticky foods that could dislodge your temporary crown. If the temporary prosthetic becomes dislodged or feels off in any way, contact our Monmouth County office immediately. Never attempt to adjust the caps yourself.
Placement of the Custom Crowns and Bridge
The second and final step of the treatment process involves placing the custom crowns and bridge during a subsequent visit.
Most of the side effects associated with dental bridges are related to the placement of the dental crowns and bridge.
If you feel like your bite is uneven following the placement of these prosthetics, let Dr. Bixby know. Sometimes, minor adjustments need to be made to the prosthetic.
Over the course of a few days or weeks, your mouth will adjust to the new sensations caused by the dental crowns and bridge. Some patients may benefit from using a straw to drink cold liquids. If the side effects linger for more than a few weeks, notify Dr. Bixby so he can recommend remedies.
Dental Bridge Aftercare
Many of the steps involved in maintaining your dental crown are beneficial to your overall oral health.
Brushing can be done as usual. When brushing or flossing, efforts should be made to keep the gum tissue below the bridge clean. A special device called a floss threader is one effective tool that can be used to clean the area below the bridge. Floss threaders are available at grocery and convenience stores.
Patients should also be mindful that dental bridges can become loosened or dislodged by eating hard or chewy foods.
You can add years to the life of your dental bridge by:
- Avoiding hard candy
- Never using a dental bridge to pry open objects
- Avoiding chewy foods like taffy
- Preventing gum disease
- Avoiding tobacco products
- Reporting a damaged dental bridge immediately
Remember, traditional dental bridges rely on healthy gums and teeth for support. Scheduling twice-a-year dental exams and cleanings can ensure that your dental bridge does not experience premature wear.
Schedule Your Dental Bridge Consultation Today
You do not have to live with missing teeth. Dr. Bixby offers multiple treatments to replace missing teeth. To learn more about your candidacy for a dental bridge, contact Dr. Bixby’s practice online or call us in Monmouth County at (732) 224-1160.