A dental bridge serves as a long-term solution to treat consecutive tooth loss. It’s held in place by cementing dental crowns to the adjacent teeth. You’ll have peace of mind knowing your new teeth will stay in place. You might never expect them to fall out, but it’s not uncommon. Although every situation differs, bridges and crowns last for about 10 years before needing to be replaced. If your dental bridge fell out, don’t panic! Here’s what you should do until you can see your dentist.
What Causes a Bridge to Fall Off?
The crowns securing your bridge will fit over the abutment teeth like a glove, so there shouldn’t be any movement or discomfort. If your bridge feels loose or falls out completely, it’s likely from decay under the crowned teeth. Although crowns and bridges are cavity-resistant, your natural teeth are still vulnerable to decay. Cavities can occur under the crowns from bacteria found in plaque buildup. Bacteria can seep through small cracks that form in the cement over time, gaining access to the tooth.
However, a bridge can come loose for other reasons, like eating sticky, chewy, or hard foods. Trauma to the mouth can also dislodge the restoration. No matter the cause, you need to see an emergency dentist quickly.
What Should You Do If a Bridge Falls Off?
A lost bridge can be a stressful situation if you don’t know what to do. Don’t worry, here are the steps you should take if your bridge falls off:
- Call Your Emergency Dentist
Your teeth and gums can be vulnerable to additional damage if you wait too long to see a dentist. Contact your emergency dentist for an appointment.
- Collect the Restoration
Place the bridge in a hard container with a lid. Your dentist may be able to bond it back in place without needing a replacement.
- Rinse Your Mouth
Gargle with salt water to clean away any debris and kill bacteria. It will keep your mouth clean while reducing pain and inflammation.
- Manage Any Pain
Take an OTC pain reliever to manage any pain. Apply a cold compress to the outside of your mouth to numb the area temporarily.
- Watch What You Eat
Eat softer foods and avoid chewing on the exposed teeth. Don’t have any hot, cold, or acidic foods and drinks to prevent sensitivity.
- Don’t Use Any Glues
Leave the mending for professionals. Don’t use any glue or cement to secure your bridge.
After examining your mouth and the restoration, your dentist will determine if you need a new bridge. If it’s time for a replacement, ask your dentist about adding dental implants to your smile. You’ll never have to worry about your bridge falling out again.
About Dr. James D. Geer
Dr. Geer earned his dental degree from the University of Texas and has completed advanced education in complex oral health issues, like dental emergencies. If you have lost your bridge, contact our office right away for an appointment. We’re here to make a stressful situation a little easier.