There are more than 5 million tooth-related traumas in the U.S. each year. These result in approximately $5 million being spent collectively to address the teeth and dental trauma which results. The cases do not just involve natural teeth but incorporate bridges and other forms of replacement teeth. Despite the advice to take precautionary measures to prevent mouth trauma, such as wearing mouth guards, the fact is that only about 13 to 39 percent of these traumas are sports related and so the other approximately 60 percent comes from accidents and other injuries that would be difficult to prepare for.
So if you have had an injury and done damage to your dental bridge, here is what you can do.
Your initial action should be to check the area to determine the extent of the damage. If there is any bleeding in the abutment teeth, to which the bridge is attached, or in the gums below the bridge, then this might indicate trauma under the bridge. Rinse with plain water until the bleeding stops. However, if bleeding is excessive or there is pain, then you should seek a dentist right away. If there is limited or no bleeding at all then you should check the bridge for chips or cracks in the porcelain or signs of breakage in the underlying metal. These would have to be addressed by your dentist so make an appointment.
If the porcelain or pontic have broken off then you should keep all the pieces to take with you to the dentist so that your dentist can account for all the pieces or check to ensure that they have not been swallowed or inhaled.
See a professional
Your dentist who put the bridge in initially may not be qualified to do a repair on the bridge so you need to ask him/her questions about this. This however, would only be necessary if the bridge is intact and there is no trauma to underlying gum or tooth structures. If the trauma is below the bridge, then your dentist would need to remove it to address the problem. This would require that the bridge be broken, if it is a fixed bridge, and a new one be put in, once the problem has been addressed, making the dentist's ability to repair it a moot point.
However, the repair process requires specialized knowledge of bonding materials and the proper way to apply them, which may not be had by all dentists. Depending on how long ago you had your bridge work done, you may not qualify for insurance coverage and you may have to find that $700 to $1,500 out of pocket. That alone should ensure that you make sure the process is done right by someone who knows what he/she is doing.
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