A few years ago, I realized that I was thinking about dental care all wrong. Instead of listening carefully to my dentist and making the necessary changes, I assumed that he was ultimately responsible for making sure that my teeth stayed healthy. Unfortunately, I developed a few serious cavities because I failed to properly brush and floss my teeth, and I knew that it was my fault. I decided to start taking notes at my dental checkups and carefully abiding by the dentist's orders. The difference was almost miraculous. This blog is all about working with your dentist to improve your result.
While most people never experience complications after their dental bridge treatment, certain factors may raise the risk in certain individuals. Dental bridges not only help improve your appearance, but they also may help improve your ability to chew. Here are some possible complications you may encounter after getting your dental bridge treatment and what you can do about them:
If you have a suppressed immune system, diabetes, or take medications to prevent organ rejection after a transplant, then you may be at risk for developing an infection underneath your dental bridge. The infection may be caused when food particles get stuck underneath the appliance, if the bridge breaks, or if the bridge does not fit anymore.
If you develop pain, inflammation, drainage, or bleeding under your dental bridge, see your dentist as soon as possible because these symptoms may indicate the presence of an infection. If left untreated, the infection may infiltrate your bloodstream, raising your risk for a serious systemic infection known as sepsis.
While sepsis can be treated, it may be resistant to common antibiotics, and because of this, you may need to be treated with very potent intravenous antibiotics which can lead to serious side effects, including internal organ damage. If your dentist determines that you have an oral infection, he or she may prescribe antibiotics and then advise you to avoid wearing your dental bridge until the infection clears up. The sooner a dental infection is recognized and treated, the less likely you will be to develop sepsis.
While dental bridges last for many years, certain factors may raise the risk for breakage. For example, if you grind your teeth during your sleep, which is known as bruxism, then the pressure you put on your dental appliance may be extreme, leading to breaking or cracking.
If you suffer from bruxism, it may mean that you are under stress or have a bite problem. If you feel that you grind your teeth because you are under stress, see your physician. He or she may recommend that you see a mental health professional to help you cope.
Once your stress has been effectively treated, your bruxism episodes may decrease in frequency and severity. If your bruxism is caused by a bite problem or malocclusion, your dentist may refer you to a maxillofacial surgeon for further evaluation and treatment. Once you have stopped grinding your teeth, you risk for bridge breakage will decrease.
While pain is uncommon after dental bridge treatment, certain individuals may be predisposed to significant discomfort when wearing their bridges. If you have a severe form of gum disease known as periodontitis, you may be unable to wear your bridge because of severe pain under the appliance.
Periodontitis not only damages gum tissue, but it can also destroy the underlying bone. If your general dentist believes you have periodontitis, he or she may refer you to a periodontist, a dentist who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of periodontal, or gum disease.
After the periodontist treats your periodontitis and your gums have healed, you may need to get a new dental bridge because the size and shape of your gums may have changed. Also, because periodontitis can destroy underlying bone, your jawbone may have gotten smaller or misshapen as a result.
If you have a dental bridge and develop any of the above complications, make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. Delaying dental bridge treatment for your complications may put excessive strain on your natural teeth, underlying bone, and the joints of your jaw, which can lead to abnormalities in your bite and the way you chew your food. It may also lead to facial disfigurement and chronic oral pain.