Dental Bridge Complications

A dental bridge provides many benefits. These porcelain teeth may allow you to eat more foods and improve the look of your smile. Dental bridge complications are possible -- the implant may cause sensitivity, decay or pain. Damage may also occur to teeth supporting the bridge. Talk to your dentist to determine whether a dental bridge is appropriate for you.

Dentist examining a patient's mouth. (Image: Keith Brofsky/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Sensitivity

A common complication associated with a dental bridge is tooth sensitivity. Many people experience mild tooth sensitivity to extreme heat, cold or touch following a dental bridge procedure. A dull ache in the gums usually accompanies the sensitivity. This discomfort usually subsides in a few weeks.

Decay and Infection

Decay is a common long-term complication associated with a dental bridge. Decay can occur when food and other particles get stuck in between the teeth as a result of natural wear and tear or a poorly fitted bridge. Approximately 10 to 15 years after receiving the bridge, the cement that holds the teeth together usually cracks, allowing food particles to accumulate in the small holes, causing decay. In addition, decay can lead to infection when bacteria from trapped food particles enter the bloodstream and spread to various parts of the body.

Pain

Some people may experience mild to moderate pain after receiving a dental bridge. It is normal to have minor pain, inflammation and/or bruising around the gums after the procedure. The discomfort usually subsides after a few days. Severe pain that persists for a week or more may signal an infection or an ill-fitting bridge.

Breakage

People who have a dental bridge may experience broken teeth. Stress can weaken, break or cause pulp death in the teeth that support the dental bridge. During the bridge implantation, the natural supporting teeth are ground down so the bridge can be attached. The pressure from this grinding can cause weak or fragile teeth to crack. Low-quality dental bridges can also cause the surrounding teeth to break or fracture while chewing.

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