Dental Bridge Recovery and Aftercare
During your dental bridge consultation with Dr. Thomas Zarger, you will be given tips for maintaining and caring for your new prosthetic. With proper care, a dental bridge can last for 15 years or longer.
At the practice of Thomas G. Zarger, Jr., D.D.S., in Knoxville, TN, it is not uncommon for patients to experience minor side effects following the placement of their traditional dental bridge. If patients do experience temperature sensitivity and sensitivity while chewing, the symptoms typically subside within a few days or weeks. Here, you can learn more about dental bridge recovery and aftercare.
Will I Experience Side Effects after the Placement of My Dental Bridge?
Traditional Dental Bridge
Most patients are able to return to work shortly after either step of the two-part dental bridge treatment process. During your first visit to our Knoxville office, Dr. Zarger will need to prep two of your teeth (on either side of your missing tooth) so the teeth can support dental crowns. Prepping involves removing a layer of enamel from the teeth. This procedure is performed using local anesthesia. You will be given temporary crowns while your new bridge is manufactured.
The side effects associated with a traditional bridge often result from the prepping portion of the restorative treatment. The dental crowns that hold the bridge in place act like natural enamel and help protect your teeth from hot and cold temperatures. Your teeth may need time to adjust to the new crowns, though.
Some patients report that biting feels more sensitive following the placement of their dental crowns and bridge. These minor side effects will subside as your mouth adjusts to the new prosthetic. If you feel that your bite is uneven or off, Dr. Zarger can adjust your crowns and bridge as needed.
To avoid any unpleasant side effects, patients who recently had a dental bridge placed may want to avoid hot or cold foods or drinks for the first few weeks after the bridge has been placed. If you do drink cold liquid, try drinking through a straw to bypass your bridge.
If the side effects are still present several weeks after your bridge has been placed, let Dr. Zarger know.
Implant-supported Dental Bridge
Implant-retained dental bridges require outpatient surgery to place two titanium posts in the jaw. The implants replace the lost tooth roots. During the first few days after surgery, patients should rest as much as possible. Dr. Zarger will provide patients with detailed recovery guidelines that should be followed closely. During the first week after surgery, patients should avoid:
- Disturbing the surgery site
- Hot drinks
- Using a straw
- Strenuous activities
- Using tobacco products or consuming alcohol
Full recovery can take three to six months. Patients should avoid activities that could result in accidental impact to the face. Maintaining good oral hygiene habits while sticking to a nutritious, plant-based diet can aid in the recovery process while ensuring that you do not develop complications that can lead to implant failure.
Dental Bridge Aftercare Tips
Dental bridges are easy to maintain. The same habits that promote oral health can help preserve your dental bridge. These habits include brushing and flossing as usual. Take special care to clean below the prosthetic. This can be done using a floss threader, which can be found at many grocery and convenience stores. Following these tips can ensure that your gums, teeth, and underlying bone are able to support your dental implant.
If your dental bridge becomes loose or dislodged, report this immediately to Dr. Zarger. While waiting for your appointment, you can avoid eating on the side of your mouth that holds the bridge in order to prevent loosening the prosthetic further.
You can protect your bridge from premature wear or damage by:
- Not using your bridge to pry open objects or packages
- Avoiding hard foods and candies
- Avoiding chewy foods that can dislodge your bridge
- Reporting if your bridge feels off immediately
- Scheduling regular dental exams and cleanings
Schedule Your Dental Bridge Consultation Today
At our Knoxville office, we can design and fabricate a tooth replacement solution that is tailored to your budget and restorative needs. If you are missing teeth, schedule an appointment online today or call us at (865) 693-7631 to improve your smile.