The History of Dentistry

The History of Dentistry

Getting Used to a New Dental Bridge: What to Expect

Regina Carlson

Although your dentist will explain the details of your new dental prosthesis, you might be wondering why a traditional dental bridge is in fact called a bridge. Designed to replace one or more missing teeth, a traditional bridge consists of a series of prosthetic teeth, connected to reinforced natural teeth at both ends of the gap (known as abutment teeth). The gap is being bridged, hence the name of the appliance. Can you expect any teething troubles from your new dental bridge?

Abutment Teeth

It's helpful to understand how the bridge is fitted. If a natural tooth was used as an abutment, then this would lead to accelerated deterioration of the tooth. In addition to experiencing direct bite pressure, the abutment tooth also secures the bridge, and this is simply too demanding for natural teeth. This is why abutment teeth are healthy, intact teeth that have been reinforced with dental crowns.

Adding the Crowns

The addition of dental crowns requires the teeth to be resized. A small amount of dental enamel is removed so that once the crown is applied, the overall mass of the tooth is unchanged. Although it's not traumatic, the application of dental crowns can lead to temporary increased sensitivity, which should disappear in the coming weeks.

A Full Set of Teeth

In addition to some minor sensitivity, it can feel unnatural to have a complete dental arch once the bridge has been fitted. You may have lived with the gap for some years, so it can feel strange to have a complete set of teeth again. To put it plainly, you're likely to need a brief period to adjust to the sensation of having a restored bite. For most patients, this is the full extent of any teething troubles that their new dental bridge may present.

Bite Misalignment

Other patients may notice lingering discomfort, which should be addressed with a visit to your dentist. If your bite should feel misaligned, you may experience a strained feeling in your jaw and mastication muscles. It may be an issue with the sizing of your bridge's prosthetic teeth and/or the abutment crowns. 

Vertical Dimensions

If the vertical dimensions of any portion of the prosthetic device are too high, it can lead to a misalignment of your bite, with the prosthetic teeth and crowns making premature contact with the opposing teeth when your mouth is closed. This isn't a major complication but can lead to ongoing discomfort if left untreated. Your dentist may need to make some minor adjustments to the bridge and its abutment crowns to ensure a comfortable fit. 

Any complications arising from a new dental bridge are rare and are mostly self-correcting. Be sure to consult your dentist if you suspect that your new appliance is misaligning your bite.


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About Me
The History of Dentistry

Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved stories about the past. Whether the stories were about horses, wars, exploration or even dentistry, I loved to hear them. I find that knowing the history of something helps it to make sense and feel approachable. I know that some people have dental anxiety, and I too have suffered, but I also feel like the more you know about dental work and its history, the easier it is. This blog is dedicated to exploring the history of dentistry – What did ancient people use for fillings? How did early dentists numb their patients? Who was the first dentist? Those are just some of the questions I plan to answer here. Ready? Okay, let's dive into the history of dentistry together!